Observing Martin Luther King Day and how it impacts the dreamer in all of us

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Are you willing to die for your dreams? If you knew your dream, or living your dream, would cost you your life, would you still pursue it with all your heart? Tough question, only you can answer.

Today, we remember a man whose career was first devoted to God, in service as a clergyperson. Later, he led our nation with his dream.  My parents heard his speech shared across their TV sets, on August 28, 1963, during the now famous March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. That speech began, “I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.”

When he gave this speech, Dr. King had no guarantees change would occur. But he believed in his dream, others believed in him, and together, the dream came true. As we celebrate Dr. King today, we remember him in Bryan-College Station, as others around the United States do, for his courage, bravery and willingness to risk his life to share his vision. In 1963, the United States was filled with unrest, as our voices were not yet united in equality across racial boundaries.

While the lingering embers of prejudice still exist, I’m proud our community does our best to not let that be our legacy to the next generation.  Civil rights belong to all of us. It’s respect, trust, regard, and honor with which we treat all of us—Americans. Three events related to Dr. King this month are also on my blog, one of which starts at 10 am today in Sadie Thomas Park.

What is your dream for yourself, for your family, for your country? As 2017 unfolds, may we all continue to dream, work, plan and hope for the future that we become united, rather than untied, and that we realize what a wise professor once said, “No one person is as smart as all of us.” My dream on this day is that we may all dream together for our bright future, and that no one has to lose their life for their dreams.

 

Every child is born with a dream when they arrive here on earth. They have a mission and a purpose for being here on this planet. I believe that with all of my heart. When I was growing up, one of my dreams was to be a visual/graphic artist in the film industry. Another was to be a professional soccer player. You may say, “Well, you’re not doing those now, what good were those dreams?” The answer is, I am living my dreams, as I’ve refined them to fit my happy life.

How much are we willing to pay for our dreams? Are we willing to pay with our lives, if necessary?

When you clicked on the link (www.callawayjones.com/Dreams) you’re now at the blog I created on the website I designed. Again, I’m living my dream in a way slightly differently than the dream started. Still, I am living my dream.

James Taylor, an award-winning musician, wrote a song called “Shine a Little Light.” I’ve included the video here. It begins, “Oh let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King, and recognize that there are ties between us, all men and women, living on the Earth, ties of hope and love, sister- and brotherhood, and we are bound together in our desire to see the world become a place in which our children can grow free and strong. We are bound together by the task that stands before us and the road that lies ahead we are bound and we are bound.”

How many times in daily conversation have you heard someone say, “I am dying to do that!” as an expression of their conviction to ‘really meaning it’ to truly want to do something? On the opposite side of that statement is when people risk their lives in their daily work knowingly and willingly because it is part of a job.  All our emergency personnel—fire, police, EMT, plant and facility emergency responders—know their lives are on the line when they put themselves in harm’s way to potentially save the lives of others, or at least defend the lives of others. They are willing to offer their lives to save those of strangers.

Dr. King had a dream. The famous speech he gave, the “I Have a Dream” speech was given on August 28, 1963, 54 years ago. It was delivered at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Dr. King was born January 15, 1929 into a day and time that was anything but an easy time for men and women of color. The words to his speech are memorized by some schoolchildren and/or at least recited on this day in classrooms around the country.

As excerpted from Dr. King’s  speech,

“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

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 one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

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.”

What are your dreams today? What are those of students across Bryan-College Station who wonder what they want to do when they grow up? They start their dreams by observing the people around them. Whether they think they can be anything they want to be when they grow up is limited by the adults in their lives. Perhaps they will grow up to be men and women who lead others. Perhaps they will invent solutions to problems we don’t even see today. Perhaps they will grow into a generation where kindness, love, vision and faith prevail. They can. It all begins with each of us as we set examples for how we all treat one another.

Thank you, Dr. King, for your dreams and your willingness to share your dreams with all of us.

 

Cody D. Jones ‘02

Owner & Community Member

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