If you desire to understand what motivates a person to behave in a certain manner, simply listen to him or her talk about his or her dream (s). A dream is a state of mind characterized by abstract thinking and release from reality.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most prominent dreamers who lived during the 20th Century. His dream was rooted in the American dream and on August 28, 1963 Dr. King shared his dream with the world. He dreamed that, “One day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed, “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal.”
As reflected in Dr. King’s speech, dreams represent the things that we long for and desire in life. Simply stated, dreams are fantastic, but vain hopes and cherished desires that we have. We dream to fulfill a void in our lives. Dr. King dreamed about equality and justice for himself and others because these basic civil rights were not part of the lived experience of Blacks during his lifetime.
Although 51 years have passed since Dr. King shared his dream, some things have changed and some things have not. The struggle for Blacks in America continues and Dr. King’s dream is just as significant today as it was in 1963.
Here are ten dreams that white and black males have in the 21st century that continues to illustrate that all men are not treated equal.
1. White males dream about defending this great country. In contrast, Black males dream about defending themselves and their loved ones.
2. White males dream about American equality. In contrast, Black males dream about Black equality.
3. White males dream about passing on their father’s legacy. In contrast, Black males dream about having a father.
4. White males dream about being rich. In contrast, Black males dream about not being poor.
5. White males dream about owning a big house with a pool and deck on the outside. In contrast, Black males dream about owning any size house with heat and electricity on the inside.
6. White males dream about being CEOs and presidents of companies. In contrast, Black males dream about being hired to work in any position within companies.
7. White males dream about owning a professional sports team. In contrast, Black males dream about playing on a professional sports team.
8. White males dream about going to college. In contrast, Black males dream about not going to jail.
9. White males dream about a world free of terrorism. In contrast, Black males dream about a world free of racism.
10. White males dream about living a prosperous and good life. In contrast, Black males dream about living period.
White and Black males have different dreams because we live in an unjust and racist society that reminds us that we are different. White and Black males are not different from a Godly perspective, but our dreams and lifestyles are manifestations of our circumstances. The right to prosper, to be treated civilly, to be protected and to feel safe should be extended to all human beings, regardless of their appearance, race, background or economic, social or financial status.
Like Dr. King, I too would love to have dreams that are manifestations of the words outlined in the United States Declaration of Independence. In particularly, the words outline in the second sentence of the Declaration:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The above-mentioned passage represents a moral standard to which the United States should strive. We honor Dr. King because he fought to enforce this basic moral standard. We also honor and celebrate Dr. King because he helped all Americans understand that dreams influence behavior. But most importantly, we honor and celebrate Dr. King because he helped us understand why Black and White males dream about different things. If society desires to change the things that Black and White males dream about, we must change the circumstances that influence their dreams.
Remember that dreams are reminders of the things that we do not have, but desire.