Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

"I have a dream."

I place the last portion of Martin Luther King, Jr's famous "I have a dream" speech here.  It was delivered in 1963.  This is a day to contemplate how much of his dream is now realized in this country.  Perhaps, New Orleans and Katrina allow us to see more clearly where we have failed.

I also am struggling with my own fight in this. No one could have been born into a more privileged life than I.  Every blessing is mine, and so, why am I now struggling in this with Jan's parents?  Jan's mother used the pregnancy card yesterday.  How can you "shame" me by marrying a "white" person, when I went through all the work of birthing you, and caring for you? 

I felt angry when I heard this, and I know the anger is related to feelings of rejection, and yet, I am not rejected.  Jan's parents do not know me, and even if they did know me, and did not like me, it still would have nothing to do with me.  I know this!!  I know this, and yet, I feel anger.  I want them to see "my" son, to honor him, and, through that, obviously, me.  Look at the son "I" produced.  I see how tribal this is, how first chakra, and how absolutely ridiculous. You reject me.  Well, then, I reject you, and what would I be rejecting?  What would I be turning away from?   What in this do I not like about me?  I, too, can be stubborn, self-centered, and self-righteous.  I can want my own way, and I do not always see the other person.  I sometimes see instead who I want them to be, or who I think they "ought" to be.   I know that something is triggered in me, and I do not like it.  I know I need to figure this out, and now, is the time to do so, and maybe today, I will read the words of Martin Luther King Jr. over and over again.  If you need them, may you also do the same.  May we feel equal, within, and without.  

His words:

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 slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four 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. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"


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