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To Have the Dream Again? Martin Luther King Jr. is still speaking to us today.
Believe in Yourself - Dream Your Dream Again
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal… 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.” Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream, 1963.
- See more at: http://www.mlkonline.net/quotes.html#sthash.fZ4b0tNd.dpuf
Ever since the start of the 2015 year i have had these two words: "dreams" and "belief" coming at me from multiple directions: whether the new books i picked up, the articles i read, the people i talked to or the sermons that got preached... I couldn't ignore it any longer and began to question: why was I getting this message so loudly? Part of it was I think because I had been following my dream, steadily and diligently and in that pursuit met a lot of people who had no dream, had given up on their dream, or were so tired and disappointed in their pursuit of their dream, that their waning zeal and depressed spirits were starting to affect my performance and outlook. That was the legacy of year 2014 for me. I had to come to terms again that part of the work I do has to deal with those who live in that dream-less, or direction-less world of poverty. When you live in that state for a long time, it's hard to change your thinking, and keep the faith and hang on to your dream(s).
So for the purposes of us being on the same page. What is a dream?
A dream is an internal guide, “a vision of the mission of your life” – is my explanation, but if that's not good enough for you, Merriam-Webster Dictionary puts it this way:
noun, often attributive \ˈdrēm\
: a series of thoughts, visions, or feelings that happen during sleep
: an idea or vision that is created in your imagination and that is not real
: something that you have wanted very much to do, be, or have for a long time.”
Mr. King was a visionary, a dreamer, an absolutely eloquent and very convincing one. He had such faith in his dreams, and the rightness of those dreams that he was willing to endure injustices, discomfort, and suffering to see them accomplished. With his passion he could invoke the allegiances and forge alliances in throngs of dreamless countrymen. He didn't care what station you held in life, but that you did what you could with the gifts and the faith you had to the best of your ability. He spoke to the capacity to dream that hides in all of us.
“If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.” Martin Luther King Jr. US black civil rights leader & clergyman (1929 - 1968)
The Poetic Preacher Man
- "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." (16 April 1963, Birmingham, AL)
- "I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits." (10 December 1964, Oslo, Norway)
- "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." (25 February 1967, Los Angeles)
The Faith Full Dreamer
Martin Luther King's faith was very strong and he was a preacher man that could instill faith in the masses. My church’s preacher has faith as well and for three weeks now, he's been trying to instill faith to dream again. He says that faith supports anything you do, any dreams you have, just make sure you know what supports our faith. It is the belief that dreams are your God-given gift and he wants you to work at it. That's the only way your life will make any sense and have any meaning. That's our preacher's dream for his church, and it's still the King's dream for all Americans (and the rest of humanity).
So for 2015 I would like to ask you to celebrate Mr. King’s life and your life and dream again.
Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Three things that need to occur before your dream is revealed:
- Search – seek, ask and knock (it requires some effort) what is it that gets you up & out of bed with desire & zeal?
- Seen – See a need? Fill that need!
- Shared – with those that will nurture and encourage your dream, and you theirs.
Then when you know what your dream is, manage it with these 3 steps:
- Break the Big Dream into 5-7 specific goals (95% of people walking around on this earth are goal-less, aimlessly going about their lives…)
- Make a list of steps – “Fail to plan, plan to fail” & remember the Pareto principle: 20% of your actions produce 80% of your results/behavior;
- Avoid pitfalls (e.g., fear of failure, distractions, un-personal goals, faith-less goals)
Take stock again next year or sooner and see how your dream is shaping up? Or take the first step in dreaming again by filling out this little poll?