We celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today in the United States. Here’s a man who knew a thing or two about dreaming.
Surveys show that a lot of people think that the American Dream is dead. We don’t think so. We tried to demonstrate that in a recent podcast where we compiled clips from some of the great moments in American history. Of course, Dr. King was featured.
Three things struck us as we did research for that show:
Dreams should be BIGG
Dr. King wanted the promise made in our Constitution to be fulfilled for all people. Obviously, that wasn’t a small dream or it would have been done before.
It also wasn’t a selfish dream – Dr. King was an entrepreneur. He created value for his people and for the entire nation. We’re all better off today because of his dream.
How BIGG are your dreams? How will value be created for your “customers’ and for society at large if your dream becomes a reality?
A dream, not a fantasy
Yes, Dr. King had a dream. But that’s not enough.
He gave a great speech about his dream. Even that wasn’t sufficient.
Dreams require action. Otherwise, they’re just fantasies. Fantasies don’t lead anywhere.
Fortunately, for us, Dr. King knew this. Sure, he was a BIGG dreamer. But he was also a BIGG goal-getter.
We recently read his wonderful book, Why We Can’t Wait. He outlines the actions that he was undertaking, as a leader, to turn his dream into a reality. He makes the case for why these actions had to be done immediately. He provided both the compass and the map.
Do you dream or do you fantasize? Does your dream lead to clear goals? For help with goal-setting, consider subscribing to our newsletter. You’ll get our goal workbook to guide you through the goal-setting process. Just enter your e-mail in the box near the upper right corner of this page.
Inspiration for the struggle
The speech was obviously written with a specific cause in mind. It was a worthy and just cause. Dr. King gave his life for his cause.
We certainly don’t want to diminish his BIGG cause with about we’re about to say. However, as read the text of I Have a Dream, we noticed something interesting.
While he focused on the struggle of his times, much of his speech inspires anyone who is struggling. Here’s one part in particular that we love in light of recent events:
"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. 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."
We can hear him saying it without even listening. It still gives us goose bumps.
Yes, we have a dream. Yes, we will come together. Yes, we will transform our nation. Yes, we will be free!
What’s your dream?