By Shanae Godley
“I say to you today, my friends, though, even though we face difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, “I Have a Dream” Speech, 1963
This statement is glued to a special place in my heart. It reminds me on my toughest days that difficulties are here, and they will be here tomorrow, but I must not let these difficulties steal my dreams.
We all know dreams to be the images we see when we go to sleep. Some good, some bad, and most unmemorable, these dreams are just one type of dream. Another type of dream includes our aspirations, hopes, and desires. It is in our dreams that we can see the life we want, not the life we live in. It’s where we can imagine greater and find an anchor of hope during difficult times.
Have you ever considered writing your own “I Have a Dream” speech? What would it say? What would it say about your hopes and aspirations? What would it say about your legacy?
There are so many reasons why we won’t write our speech and probably just as many reasons for why we should, but here are a few reasons I believe you have yet to write yours.
#1 – Speech Writing is Old News
Dr. King wrote his speech in the 1960s, so many of us would consider it to be old. We have new dreams and ideas of how the world can be a better place, but in this new world that Dr. King imagined he didn’t take into account a new age of dreamers who are willing to write about the difficulties of today on social media and blogs but won’t consider writing about how tomorrow’s difficulties can be solved by their dreams.
#2- You’re Afraid
Ask yourself, “Would it hurt you to write down your dream?” Do you have goals and aspirations? Do you even believe that the world can be a better place, or that YOUR WORLD can be a better place? For some of us, we fear the difficulties of tomorrow and so we don’t dream. It’s easier that way. But for others, we dream and hope and have all kinds of aspirations, but we won’t take a step to make it come true. We fear the next step. Fear holds us back from greatness! Imagine what the world would be if we weren’t so afraid of dreaming, writing that dream down, and then taking steps towards it. What if we weren’t afraid of the next step? What dreams would possibly come true?
#3 – Your Dream has been Deferred
So, here’s the catch, dreams don’t always come true when we want them to. This makes it difficult to write them down. We get caught up in the “What ifs,” like “What if it doesn’t come true?” As Langston Hughes expressed in his poem Harlem “What happens to a dream deferred?” They feel like they will never come true. They feel like they are on hold, or out for delivery, but in fact, they are on their way, just haven’t arrived to yet.
Whatever your dream is DON’T GIVE UP. I know that a deferred dream can make your heart sick, you may even feel depressed, but I also know that when you’ve been hoping for something and you finally get it your joy is replenished.
I challenge you to dream. You are well deserving of every aspiration and good dream you can hope for. Then I challenge you to write your “I Have a Dream” speech. It may never be famous like Dr. Kings or shared with billions of people, but it will speak to you. Write it, so that on your difficult todays and your difficult tomorrows, you can hear your dreams, and perhaps the words you’ve written will give you the hope you need to take the next step.