Of course, Dr. King was talking specifically about race when he hoping for a country where we judge someone on their character– what is in their heart and how they let that shine forth– rather than the color of their skin.
But my dream expands that a little.
What if we started to look into the hearts of everyone we encounter, instead of judging them by some group they belong to? If we want America to continue to be great, we have to stop thinking that because someone doesn’t look like us, or doesn’t agree with us on an issue, that they are terrible and need to be crushed.
The country I want to live in, and the country I think Dr. King dreamed of, is one where we look past our racial, political, religious, geographical, and economic differences…
A place where we look into the hearts and souls of people of every race… every religion… every political, sexual, and economic persuasion… and we find good-hearted smart people to help us build a good-hearted smart America that brings together all of us into a place where anyone can succeed and feel welcome and not feel the hatred of another because of the color of their skin or the people they choose to love or the way they worship or the amount of money they have in the bank or the place they live or the political party they belong to…
But also that we find space in our good hearts to make room for acknowledging the hardships and struggles that so many have to overcome to even get to the starting line, let alone run the race.
Because this is America, you have the right to carry hate in your heart… but it’s not the best way.
God Bless Martin Luther King and his dream for his people and all Americans and all humans everywhere.
–Martin Luther King Day (observed) 2016