On this national holiday celebrating the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. it seems fitting to refresh the dream; the one peace lovers have been dreaming since time immemorial.
The dream of cooperation, care and kindness.
The dream of one people-hood living in unity on Earth.
Bob Marley's dream: "One love, one heart, one destiny."
Gandhi's dream: "Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love."
Lennon's dream: “Declare it. Just the same way we declare war. That is how we will have peace. . . we just need to declare it.”
Siddhartha's dream: "Just as a mother would protect her only child with her life, even so let one cultivate a boundless love toward all beings.”
Christ's dream: "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient with one another in love."
Martin Luther's dream: "[W]e will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."
It has been over half a century since Dr. King spoke those words in Washington in what was to become one of humanity's greatest demonstrations of freedom. And yet, with all of the strides we have made toward equality and human dignity, we find ourselves again in perilous waters. The old habit of division rears its head. The threat of tyranny echoes in the angry voices of leaders of nations. Left and right are more polarized than ever.
There is an anxiety in the air. People are uneasy; as if bracing for catastrophe.
Clearly, the dream needs re-dreaming.
Their dream. Our dream.
It is not enough to stand on the shoulders of our sages and saints. It is not sufficient to quote their words of wisdom and bask in their vision. For in some strange way, we are the continuity of their desires. We are the offspring of peace-lovers gone before. And if we do not act, their potency vanishes. That is the way ancestry works. It's not only genetic, but spiritual.
The dream lives in us now, as a longing deep in the soul.
It is made real through our thoughts, words and actions.
It comes to life in the way we choose to conduct ourselves moment by moment.