One of my greatest heroes is Martin Luther King, Jr. His “I Have a Dream” speech is one of the most well-known in the world. I often think about his speech and what he stood for when I feel disconnected to my own dreams. It is my belief that the world is enriched by dreamers, not necessarily because those dreams must come true, but because of what it feels like and produces in the world to have dreams. It gives life meaning. And that’s not something we should take for granted, because meaning doesn’t come naturally with this deal called life. If we don’t give life positive meaning on purpose, we usually default to negative.
Martin Luther King’s dream did not come to fruition in his lifetime, it still hasn’t in many ways. And that’s my point. We love results and we help people get them but they are not the point of living life as a dreamer. We honor MLK among history’s greatest leaders because he gave his attention to something higher, in the face of great adversity and dissent. Each and every one of us can be inspired by this because we each have those voices inside of us that want something more, that seek out equality, partnership, union, connection, justice, and peace and know we have something to do with bringing it into our lives. And each and every one of us faces real opposition, perhaps from the people around us, our political opponents or maybe just from the voices in our heads.
We admire the person who puts their dream first and pays attention to it and talks about it because that person ultimately makes himself vulnerable. Nobody likes to be judged, criticized or threatened for what they dream of, and writing it down, saying it out loud, and sharing it with others puts you at a thrilling risk. It also puts you way more on the hook for following through with the actions to get you to that dream, and that’s risky too. That’s why we call the biggest dreamers our heroes. If you have read this far, you are a dreamer, probably wishing your dreams were even more at the forefront of your daily life. You may not think your dreams are world-changing, but they are. Even if you wish only for more peace for yourself, more love or health in your life or to do a job well, your pursuit of those positive outcomes impacts the world. How could it not? Human experience and human culture is the sum of us all. How could we not all be impacting each other?
Now before you feel too pressured by your impact on all of humanity, let me pull back and make my last pitch for being more dream focused, it’s pretty light. Dreaming feels good and it’s fun. Since life really is uncertain and time-limited, isn’t it important that we spend our time and mental/emotional energy on things that feel good, just for our own sake’s, just for the sake of JOY? Of course, that too makes the world a better place, so if you’re a dreamer, you’re stuck being a change-agent for good whether you like it or not! Couldn’t help myself, had to point that out.
Thank you for wanting more for yourself and your world.