How many times have we heard Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I had a dream” speech? I know as a child I would listen to it and chills would run up and down my spine.
As a military brat, it was hard for me to fathom a time where people were judged purely by the color of their skin. Sure, I knew discrimination existed even still today – but I was fortunate enough to live in a time where people of all colors were learning to respect one another and live in harmony. As a military brat I was taught not to see color – only to see others for who they were on the inside.
What a gift.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was not only a clergyman – but a visionary. A hero. As a teenager I voraciously read everything there was to know about Dr. King, rocked out proudly to U2′s tribute song “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” as I wore my walkman around the beaches of Okinawa, Japan where my Dad was stationed when I was in high school.
I thought about what I would’ve done had I been alive when Dr. King was championing racial equality. I knew I would be fighting alongside him, working to make sure everyone was treated fairly and equally. I loved Dr. King’s message of hope and of love – he never condoned hatred or retribution. He was an example to me growing up, an example to the whole world for many decades.
Today, as a business owner I think about the gift Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave me. He told me – a white woman – that I could dare to dream. That, if I worked hard enough, anything could be possible. He taught me about peace, love and forgiveness of others. I am a better person because of him.
So today I take a moment to pay tribute to one of my American heroes. Thank you, Dr. King, for all you did for America and for ultimately sacrificing your life for the betterment of others. I hope to make you proud and to carry on your teachings.
Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride