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My Dreams for My Country, Its People, and Its Landscape

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
On this January 15, 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the public storm is becoming stronger than most are comfortable to bear. People are deeply hurt and angry leading them to become more and more frustrated and distant from each other. People are ashamed and embarrassed of their country’s leadership and are feeling more isolated and lonely. People are feeling scared, confused, anxious, and are becoming bewildered, discouraged, and overwhelmed.

This is America, the great wide-open country with opportunities for entrepreneurial possibilities and endless potential for all. This is the place where all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Yet, 242 years after this American spirit was eloquently articulated, all do not experience this welcoming land of the free equally, with dignity, or a fair chance at pursuing happiness.

It is with strong faith and hope, 55 years after our nation’s moral leader, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s compelling and most influential I Have a Dream speech that I too have a dream, a dream for my country, its people, and its landscape.

I have a dream for the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, Bears Ears National Monument, Wilderness areas, monuments, all 417 national park units, state parks, open space and other public lands. I have a dream for these uniquely American public lands to be the most beloved revered places in their native form as natural and wild forever. I have a dream that policy leaders hold public lands as the most priceless gems of our American landscape.

I have a dream for Kary, Rocio, Gorge, Sandra, Jesus, Juan, and all newcomers and refugees to feel the most sincere generous welcome to America their new home, as their home counties are war zones, covered with gang violence, and genocide. I have a dream that immigrants, refugees, and those fleeing horrible conditions are seen as beautiful children of God, as human beings treated with dignity, justice, and care. I have a dream for all people to live in calm, safe, peaceful neighborhoods where they are invited to actively engage in creating a better world for themselves, their families, and their community.

I have a dream for families to be the strongest institutions within the nation. I have a dream for families to spend quality time together regularly. I have a dream for families to be the backbone for learning compassion, mercy, and how to be moral people. I have a dream for strong family life to be supported, prioritized, and encouraged.

I have a dream for all to have a relationship with God; to believe they are created for a unique purpose, to be in relationship with others, and to be the best version of themselves. I have a dream for all to pray often in the silent spaces of daily life listening for the courage to be brave ready to do the next right thing. I have a dream for all to be loved, included, accountable, and to feel they belong.

I have a dream for teachers to be respected, valued, and viewed, treated, and paid as professionals. I have a dream that all teachers are given the skills, space, and time to facilitate learning for students to be filled with the most exciting curiosity and wonder again.

I have a dream that the practice of science is upheld as a foundation for explaining natural phenomena using quality evidence. I have a dream that the process of science stays exciting, complex, and unpredictable. I have a dream for all people to value the practices and process of science.

I have a dream for everyone to have fair access to housing in the community where they work. I have a dream for affordable safe living options for all: single people, single parent families, unemployed people, immigrants, the sick, and the elderly.

I have a dream for planet Earth as a living ecosystem, home to all known life forms, habitats, food, and water. I have a dream that Earth will be revered as a mother sustaining all for eons to come. I have a dream for stewardship, care, and love for this only place we can call home.

I have a dream that all will encounter people, finding what it is that makes each and every person a unique contribution to this world, listening to their stories and through this create a human connection with them. I believe it's these moments of authentic curiosity and wonder that make life fulfilling and beautiful. To me this is the beautiful mystery of seeing God in everyone. Everyone - no matter your background, where you were born, your language, how much you have, your experience, your faith, or your views. I believe relationships of genuine compassion can, have, and will change the world.

Just as Martin Luther King Jr. believed America was morally sick, America is currently arguably just as morally sick if not more so today in 2018. Yet, what if everyone dreamed of change? What if everyone dreamed of taking action within his or her circle of influence? What if everyone began to talk less, listen more, and act often? I believe, based in faith, hard work, tenacity of spirit, productive struggle, and great love for all people, the Earth, that this public storm is only temporary. We will again together rise above the storm creating a future that is better than where we are today.

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