Friday, September 6, 2013

shared dreams

The 50th anniversary celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered at a rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963, inspired me to highlight an article written by Simon Sinek in 2010.

Entitled "Movement", the article describes how Martin Luther King, Jr. was able to spark a movement to bring about civil rights in the United States.  At its conclusion, Simon shares that he had been inspired not only by Dr. King himself, but also by how Dr. King inspired a movement.  As an admirer of Simon's work, I can understand his remarks since he himself started a movement several years ago.

Click here to view the full article

From a personal standpoint, I was drawn to the article while reading one particular detail: 250,000 people showed up to hear Martin Luther King, Jr. speak, but not for him.  Let me reformulate that: not a single person in this enormous crowd was present because of Dr. King.  Well, why were they there?

For themselves.  They showed up for themselves.

And that's the power of sharing dreams.  The organizers of the rally in Washington must have given the general public something that they could resonate with to end up with 250,000 people in attendance.  Then, in his speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. talked about a dream that members of the audience could resonate with.  The values evoked in the dream, notably those of freedom and equality, were just as important to these people as much as to Dr. King.  By sharing his dream with remarkable eloquence, Dr. King helped them to see themselves and their dream more clearly.

So Dr. King had a dream, and he said that much.  What about us?  Do we have dreams?  If so, are we sharing them?  It seems to me that some people believe that dreams should not belong in the real world.  They consider such matters as the fancy of children and adults that are out of touch with reality.  Others keep company with people for whom dreams don't exist, so any discourse on the subject is essentially foreign to them.  And there are a good number of people that have traded in their own dreams for those of others without even realizing it.

Naturally, I do not subscribe to these attitudes, since I am a dreamer.  A dream ‒ let's call it a vision if that is more like adultspeak ‒ can serve not only as a compass for navigating the complex society in which we live, but also as a path to a life continuously filled with meaning.  To quote Paul Arden, "your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have."  All that is left is to invest oneself in the pursuit of this vision.  This, in my opinion, is where the joy of living often comes from.

While an individual dream has to be pursued for it to work its magic, it can go even further when shared with others who have the same dream.  There is power in numbers, really.  Surely, Dr. King and his partners understood this. 

What is my own dream?  Actually, I don't know.  I just don't feel that I have the words to describe it clearly.  In any case, I do know that it has something to do with living in a world of my own, yet one that includes other people.

I'll share that much.

No comments:

Post a Comment