Fifty years ago today Martin Luther King made one of the most iconic speeches of all time. When we visited Washington DC visiting the Lincoln Memorial was one of our must dos and walking along by the reflecting pool the words of the speech echoed through our minds. What is sad is that fifty years on there is still so much in this speech that we still need to hear and act upon. When I read it through I am perhaps more challenged by the notion that we should judge people by the content of their character not the colour of their skin (or I assume one of the many other attributes we make sometimes random judgements on). As an educator by profession two of the hardest tasks I have found over thirty years of trying is to change attitudes and build character – all the discussion on discipleship we have in the church can partly be seen as the latter and the church is full of problems regarding the former.
One of the tasks Paul gets people to do sometimes is to reframe the last part of this speech for their context. This is one such attempt and was written probably twenty years ago by a friend (who did give us permission to share it. As someone with a passion for youth work it still sends a shiver down my spine:
I have a dream that one day the marginalized will be included. The dispossessed will have what they need, that those who have nothing will be treated with the same respect, the same stature, the same voice of those who have enough. I have a dream that one say those who have will share with those who do not, that those who have more than enough serve those who have not and share it with them. I have a dream that one day, every young person will know the love, the security, the knowledge that they are loved. That they can sleep at night knowing that they are safe. I have a dream that one day young people will have the opportunity to give of what they have, speak of what they know and it being accepted and understood for what it is…a miracle.
A film of the speech,
The text of the speech.