6

I have a dream too. Here it is.

Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King delivered his historic I Have a Dream speech.

You know the one.

The one where he painted a compelling picture of what the United States could be, and then challenged the nation to “rise up” and meet that vision.

On the surface, it’s easy to assume King was merely demanding an end to laws that prevented black citizens from equal treatment and opportunities.

And he was.

But that’s not the whole story.

Because what is often lost in the thunderous finale of King’s speech is the beginning where he quietly calls on individuals within the movement to live as their highest selves.

“In the process of gaining our rightful place,” he said, “we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds…Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.”

As someone who teaches “being” before “doing” it’s nice to see Dr. King was onboard with that too…and yet…the blatant injustices of the time needed more than just genial complacency.

Real change requires action.

King understood this deeply of course, which is why his speech was rife with language asserting “the fierce urgency of now.”

I believe we are facing a similarly-urgent situation today.

And so in the spirit of this landmark anniversary, let me tell you about my dream.

I have a dream that when a country exterminates thousands of its own citizens and Miley Cyrus performs in the same week, we are collectively more outraged over the former.

I have a dream that one day this world will stop for millions of children refugees the way we stop for the birth of a royal.

And I have a dream that something as chilling as warships moving into position – happening as I type – never again trends below a pop star’s album release in one of our nation’s most prominent newsfeeds.

CNN Trends

Indifference is truly the injustice of our time.

But it doesn’t have to be.

As mindful leaders, we are asked to be acutely aware of the present moment, which obviously begs the question:

How much of your attention are you giving to things that don’t matter?

Moreover, how much of what you’re focusing on is subconsciously affecting your behavior?

To step into your full, actualized self, you must answer a renewed call to become engaged again.

Engaged with who you want to be.

Engaged with how you want to live.

And, yes, engaged with what is happening in your community and in this world.

Only then can you embody the “soul force” King spoke of 50 years ago, which is still so desperately needed today.

Real change requires action.

Rise up.

 

P.S. Happy anniversary Dr. King, wherever you are.

Back to top