Having a dream is only part of what we need to do today.
Good Morning America ran a piece this morning about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. In it, civil rights advocate Andrew Young made an important point: we forgot what the speech was about and focused on the dream.
Excerpt from the "I Have a Dream" speech:
“One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
It cannot be denied that there are still shameful conditions throughout this country, and Americans of every color are fighting to get off the lonely island of poverty. It is up to us to take notice and realize that we are surrounded by these islands—possibly across the street, a few miles away, or in the next town over.
We don’t have to agree on how to change things. What we must agree on is that there is a problem, and make a promise to do something. Today, tomorrow, or next week. Only then can we get past the problem and get closer to the dream. Because I have a lot of dreams for my girls, and for my family, but I don't think it's fair that I may be able to pursue happiness while my next door neighbor may be forced to pursue something less.
Whether you serve your community or you relax on the couch or you work from sunup to sundown, it is important to remember. Remember Dr. King's whole speech and there’s a chance that tomorrow can be better than today.