On August 28th, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington. An excerpt … perhaps the most memorable lines …
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
That was in 1963, nearly 58 years ago, and today we are no closer to realizing Dr. King’s dream than we were then. I once thought we were headed in the right direction, but I no longer believe that. I have my own dream …
I dream of a world without guns, where people are well enough educated to be able to use words instead of weapons to resolve their differences. I dream of a world where nuclear weapons have been destroyed forever, where armies and navies have been disbanded due to lack of need, and where instead of building warships and bombs, we are building housing for people in need, hospitals and schools in poor areas.
I dream of a world where national boundaries don’t exist. This is not to say people cannot take pride in the history of their geographical region, but rather where people respect and cherish everyone, not just those who have a shared background or ethnicity. I dream of a world where we are building bridges instead of walls.
I dream of a world where everyone pulls together to ensure that nobody anywhere on the globe goes to bed hungry, where medical care is available to all without charge. I dream of a world where the environment is more important to everyone than technical gadgetry, air travel, expensive cars, fancy clothes, etc.
I dream of a world where people think more about planting trees than about a vacation to the beach.
But most of all, I dream of a world where people are humans, not hateful warriors, not bigots, not violent, just human. In my dream world, people fall in love and it doesn’t matter to anybody else who they choose to love. Same sex, different skin colour … no matter. It’s nobody’s business.
I’ve lived in this world for nearly 70 years now, and frankly I’m tired of it all. I’m tired of seeing people accumulate wealth for no reason other than to be on the Forbes list of richest people in the world. I’m tired of seeing the arrogance of people with paler skin who believe they are somehow ‘better’ or ‘entitled’. I’m tired of seeing religious leaders lie to their followers, telling them to shun others because they think or act differently, giving them a false sense of superiority. I’m tired of police gunning down unarmed Black men because … just because they know they can get away with it.
I’m sick and tired of people who hunt wild animals for sport, for bragging rights. I’m equally sick and tired of people who kill other people just because they had a bad day, or didn’t like the other person’s skin colour, hair style, or … whatever excuse they make.
I’m tired of men who abuse women, who still somehow believe they are entitled to dominance over women. And I’m equally tired of women who allow men to do this, for we have the power to put a stop to it.
There are many good people in this world … I write about them every Wednesday. But there is more wrong with the world than there is right at the moment, and I’m tired of living in a world where each day brings new abominations around the globe created by human greed. It doesn’t have to be this way! Humans in all their arrogance and greed are on the brink of bringing about the extinction of their own species if they don’t get serious about protecting the environment. Some days I think maybe that’s not such a bad thing.