Monday, January 16, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

King of Dreams

I'm bumping my Birth of a Novel and #writemotivation post to this Wednesday.  Today, I wanted to briefly visit the topic of celebration on this holiday.

For many of us, it is a day off from work, for which we are thankful.  For others, it's just another day.  But today is the day set aside to take time and recognize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his leadership and efforts during the Civil Rights Movement.  His Nobel Peace prize solidified his place in history and his face as the face of the movement.

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Amid all the hoopla, the grandeur, the bigger-than-lifeness surrounding him, it can be hard to remember that he was just a man.  A husband.  A father.  A friend.  Before he was a man grown, he was a kid running around playing with other kids.  He laughed.  He cried.  He did time in jail and suffered various manner of physical atrocities--mind you, he was not alone in any of this--for his belief in equal treatment for all humans regardless of skin color.  And yes, for daring to act on his beliefs and demand equal treatment through non-violence, he was assassinated.

It is well known that he was threatened on a regular basis.  There were many who didn't believe in equal rights, thought second class citizenship was more than enough despite the Declaration of Independence's assertion that "all men are created equal."  Yet, with his life on the line everyday, he continued his course.  I won't say it was easy for him.  I can't begin to imagine what was like for him to bear the weight of the hopes and dreams of an entire ethnic group on his shoulders.  I mean, seriously, I'm just barely handling the weight of my jolly eating habits--working to improve that, by the way.

Before his "I Have a Dream" speech, he was a simple man with simple dreams.  That's the same as we all start.  As queens and kings of our dreams.  Let's do more than dream.  Let's work to bring these dreams to life.  It takes action.  It takes that first spark, that first step.  It will get interesting, for sure.  Doubts may arise. But just as the dream of equality was worth the work, so are your own dreams.

Thank you, all of you, for tagging along as I travel this journey in making my dream come true.

23 comments:

Sophia Chang said...

Amen! I'm so glad we met and are on this journey together!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And proof that one person can make a difference!

Natalie Aguirre said...

He's such an inspiring person. Great post on what we should celebrate today.

Anonymous said...

He was such an inspiration. Good reminder that today is just a holiday.

Anonymous said...

I whole heartily agree! He was a man, a man who moved mountains. Sometimes, a lot of times, I feel that his teachings and dreams have been lost. But, one person can change the world...even if it is only "their" world they change.

Jess said...

Thank you for highlighting MLK Day! People like him are so iconic~ such a powerful piece of history~ that you can forget he was a common man. He CHOSE to be more, for the good of us all. It was the most difficult path to take, but he took it anyway. I think of Coretta Scott King and the children, as well, and the sacrifices she made to reach that ultimate goal~ the fear she lived with on a daily basis. Strong people. Strong inspiration for all of our dreams. Thanks :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Thank you, Angela, for a wonderful post! Thank you for reminding us that this iconic figure was also a real man brave enough to take a stand for equality and justice.

We honor him today, and yet -- when I see presidential candidates (PRESIDENTIAL candidates, of all people!) spewing hateful messages about fellow citizens, I wonder if we've changed at all. :(

Misha Gericke said...

Beautiful post.

I agree with you that we have to work to make our dreams come true. Good luck! :-)

Angela Brown said...

I'm glad too, Sophia. Your joyful personality shines through and I'm glad to have someone like you on this journey.

Alex, that is a truth so many of us have difficulty facing. As insignificant as we may see ourselves, one person can make a difference.

Thank you, Natalie. Like many other holidays, we can sometimes get caught up in other things. This post helped bring things back into perspective for me as well.

Thank you, Alessa.

Writebackwards, I am sad to have to agree with you. I've sometimes wondered what he would think if he happened to return to the world today. I shudder to think of it actually.

Jess, I tried to imagine what it was like to love someone with such a heightened sense of "putting it on the line everyday" and just felt overwhelmed. I don't know how Coretta did it, but she did.

Dianne, I'm reminded of the old adage "the more things change, the more things stay the same." The spewing of hate on such high levels of exposure seems proof of that statement. Sad, really.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful tribute and reminder Angela. And we do have to work for those dreams, holding them dear.

LD Masterson said...

I remember the day the Nation lost him, and even then so many did not recognize what we had lost.

Shelley Munro said...

Great post, Angela. He was an amazing and inspirational man.

Charlie Holmberg said...

That speech is amazing when one actually takes the time to read it. Thanks for taking the time to reflect on a great man!

Alleged Author said...

Beautiful post. One of my favorite writings from him is "Letter From A Birmingham Jail." He was such an eloquent writer.

J.L. Campbell said...

Inspiring post, Angela. So much has been achieved by those who started out cherishing a single dream.

Lydia Kang said...

My dreams seem pretty insignificant to MLK's, but I appreciate the inspiration. We all benefit from his wise words, in a million ways.

Mike Keyton said...

The apostles were ordinary, with the faults of ordinary men, but like MLK they dared to be extra-ordinary

Sara Bulla said...

Touching post. Thanks Angela. BTW, you received the versatile Blogger award! come check it out at livetowrite1.blogspot.com. :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

Wonderful post, Angela. Enough time has gone by that I think people sometimes forget how very dangerous it was for him to speak out. He certainly wasn't the only person to die in the fight. And it's not like the fight's been fully won yet, either.

And I appreciate your comparison to our own dreams. And doubts.

Cate Masters said...

Love this post, Angela. It's inspiring to think how far his career arc took him on a dream. Something to keep us all going!

Sangu Mandanna said...

Such a great post, Angela! Dreams are so important.

Jordan said...

Great post and a great reminder! Thanks for sharing this with us and allowing his inspiration to be some of our own! Thanks :)

<3 jordan
JordanDibb.com

Krispy said...

Lovely, inspirational post! I hope you had a happy MLK holiday! :)

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