Thursday, October 15, 2020

Waking up to the true freedom of the human spirit against all odds

"I Have a Dream" is a public speech that was delivered by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in which he called for civil and economic rights and an end to racism in the United States. Delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the speech was a defining moment of the civil rights movement and among the most iconic speeches in American history. Under the applicable copyright laws, the speech will remain under copyright in the United States until 70 years after King's death, through 2038. Sorry for audio-video sync problem"

(above is the accompanying note on the "Rare Facts" YouTube channel)


"... but we would dishonor those heroes as well to suggest that the work of this nation is somehow complete. The arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice, but it doesn't bend on its own ..."
(President Barack Obama)


Early this morning, the words "free at last" appeared in my thoughts and led to this post.

At the beginning of April 2020, a few days before the anniversary of the day Martin Luther King, Jr., was murdered in 1968, I woke up from a horrific nightmare of mindless violence which included abject isolation and fear.  We all have dreams of freedom, and we all have unspeakable nightmares.  During these past months, it is a series of nightmares that have shown me what I cannot ignore when I am awake.

Some dreams and nightmares are over.  Some follow us into all of our waking moments.  We do not have to live in fear.  This morning I remembered this message, also from Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968:

"... And then I got into Memphis, and some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out of what would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers. Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place, but I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will, and He's allowed me to go up to the mountain, and I've looked over and I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the Promised Land. So I'm happy tonight, I'm not worried about anything, I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors - the dreams of our old men, given them in solemn hours of the night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people.

Chief Seattle


37paddington said...

Dreams have power indeed. Love.

Sackerson said...

Early morning is an uncanny time - sometimes insightful, sometimes just strange. I had this really odd, panicky feeling when I woke up yesterday: I thought I was someone else waking up in the wrong body, in the wrong room. It only seemed to last a couple of seconds. It was quite interesting and thought-provoking.

I can't thinking any Christian preacher who has commanded as much respect from non-Christians as MLK