Friday, January 26, 2007

I Have a Dream ...

Earlier this month the nation celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. It is one of only three federally recognized holidays honoring an individual. (The other two are George Washington and Christopher Columbus). Governmental offices are closed, the postal service doesn't run, schools shut down, and many non-government businesses aren't open on this day.

Leading up to the holiday, schools often take time to teach kids about this great man and his life, and about the Civil Rights movement. This is a good thing. I had wished more emphasis had been placed on that period of our nation's history when I was in school. Sure, I learned about it, but not to the extent kids today do.

Martin Luther King Day wasn't even formally observed until 1986, though we did have Black History month. That was more about learning of a plethora of African-American contributions, with only a brief touching upon slavery and civil rights, than teaching any real history. Everything negative seemed to be quickly glossed over, as if ashamed to talk to about it openly. I think those portions of our national history should be taught as a part of our normal history curriculum, not as some tacked on addendum. They are some of the most important and defining moments of American history.

I was fortunate my parents did not teach me bigotry and racism. They both came from a time when it was accepted, even encouraged, and I knew they still held some of those beliefs. (My Mother was born in 1944, my step-father in 1922). But they instead taught me all men and women are equal. We may be different from on another, but we all still have feelings, and we are all entitled to be treated fairly, compassionately, and with respect.

I strive to teach my kids the same things.

This is why I feel very proud of my youngest's composition he did for school. He is in the 4th Grade and 9-years-old. Each child was to write a speech about a dream they have for themselves, their family, their community, or the world. This is his ...

I Have a Dream ... (by Tim, age 9)

I have a dream that one day we will be a peaceful world with no wars and no violence. I have a dream that one day we will be free from our fears. I have a dream that one day we will set our souls free from sin.

I have a dream. I have a dream we will all live in harmony and love, not in violence and fear.

I have a dream. I have a dream that we will pray to the Lord and give thanks for the good he has bestowed upon us, and which we will praise. I have a dream that one day, one day, God will will set us free.

So, if you are in fear of the darkness in your soul, stand beside me and praise the Lord for his forgiveness. Don't live in fear, live in the Light. Let the dark drain from your heart and let the Light fill it in.

So, next time you feel scared, remember you are not alone. And, to accomplish the task, look inside you and find the good.

He got an A+ from the teacher, and a note stating she was impressed. I am impressed.

In light of my post of a few days ago, of the vile things man perpetuates upon his fellow, this speech, these innocent words of wisdom, these thoughts of a child, bouy my spirits and bring a little of the light to my darkened soul.

Thanks, Tim. You are certainly once special kid!


Bruiser said...

Indeed you are special, Tim. The innocence of youth amazes me more every day. Mix that innocence with wisdom and you've really got something special. Sounds like Tim is wise beyond his years. Praise God for the children of this world and the way they can bring us back to the way it should be.

Russell said...

What a bright, inspiring young man!

Doug E. Pudge said...

Raivynn, thank you so much for sharing this post. What an inspiration to me. B4T