Today with certain exceptions, in America we pause to remember a man who was definitely a testament to “Becoming.” Overcoming struggles not only of his own, but also along with millions of other people. His life on this plain ending far too soon, we pause from our regular format to remember and reflect on the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and how his “Dream” and visions can certainly help to strengthen and motivate ours.
The following are excerpts from Dr King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. These selections I believe can give foundation and focus to our ongoing search in “Becoming”.
I’ll also post a link to the full speech.
Dr. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. “… And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition. In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men – yes, black men as well as white men – would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds. But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.”
Dr. KING: “… We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to his hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises…”
Rochelle’s Note: Now is the time. The time to make it all come true for each of us. Someday never comes, today I am and hope you are always doing all you can to be “Becoming”.
Dr. KING: “… We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back……..”
Dr. KING: “….. I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. … knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed….”
Rochelle’s Note: This situation, moment, struggle, whatever it may be you are seeking to overcome can and will be changed. As long as you do the work. Quit procrastinating , make the decision and always take action towards “Becoming”.
Dr. KING: “… So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal….I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today…”
“…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. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. 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,….”
“…..And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last.”
Rochelle’s Note: To which I can only add; Free to be “Becoming”. At last we are “Becoming”.
Tomorrow here on “Becoming Today”, we’ll explore the depths of our present season.
In the meantime if you like here is another of Dr King’s speeches, delivered to students.