“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.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
As a child learning about the great Dr. Martin Luther King was required. As it should be. We learned the words to his “I have a Dream” speech and his “Mountain Top” speech.
In the last four years this quote has taken on a whole new meaning. I wish that my two teenage sons would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I wish that my two teenage boys would not be judged by the clothes that they wear, but by the content of their character. I wish that my two teenage boys would not be judged by their neighborhood or school but by the content of their character.
When my sons were born I couldn’t wait for them to grow up. I couldn’t wait for them to learn to drive, to hang out with friends and be just normal boys. But as they continued to grow and change so did the world in which we live. My boys changed for the better. They grew into nice, decent, respectful young men… but I’m not sure that I can say that about the world. This world is not always such a nice place.
Now I just want to hold on to my boys.
Now I am afraid to let them go.
Now, I am afraid that they will not be judged by the content of their character.
Now, I’m afraid that their character will only matter when it’s too late.
As we celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we must also recognize that his dream is a dream deferred. His dream is still a work in progress. Like Dr. King, I too, wish that we could all judge one another by the content of our character. I wish we all could dig a little deeper to look past the visual and see the actual. I wish that as adults we could set the example for our children so that in future generations my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will not be judged by the color of their skin but only by the content of their character.
After all is said and done I still have hope. I still believe that our world can one day make Dr. King’s dream a reality. I still believe that a change can and will happen.