With the dawn of the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, there has been a lot of commentary on the state of progress in America. Considering the fact that we had a black President for two terms, some might say we’ve come a long way — With reoccurring scenes of police brutality, others might say we’ve merely taken the signs down. Wherever you fall on the opinion spectrum, one thing is for sure — we’ve missed the point.
The Dream is not really about race. In 2018, the list of movements with their own agenda, continues to grow exponentially, proof – our needs are out shadowing our efforts. Truth is, The Dream is about transcendence. The Dream is about living a life where you KNOW no 3rd party can rob you of reaching your highest potential. The dream is not about greater than or less than. The Dream is an existence were we transcend labels. The Dream is about every human being being able to make waves that outlast these fleeting moments we call life.
However, what most people fail to realize, is that the waves in their simplest form, are generations. Dr. King made waves in the sense that generations will prosper from his commitments, indefinitely. Somehow, we intrinsically know our life is not about us, yet we flounder to feel fulfilled, crafting a society where we want the results without the work. Martin Luther King’s Dream is the result, but to get there, we must first understand the need.
Ironically, I have to turn to Malcolm X for this:
“If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there’s no progress. If you pull it all the way out — that’s not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made.”
To achieve The Dream, we must first heal. So…
I have a Dream too.
I have a Dream that more individuals will do the required work to heal their minds, their hearts, and their homes. We live in an age of accessible information, a tremendous privilege. But to truly leverage it, we have to be bold.
If you are an under represented individual in this society, there is a knife in your back. It has nothing to do with race. Let me tell you how it shows up: anger, depression, anxiety, infidelity, betrayal, lies, abuse, abandonment, addiction, crime, etc. — harm of any kind to another or oneself. This is the modern day Jim Crow. No physical prison bars required. You’ll find the associated signs in our medicine cabinets, in our shame, our regrets, and our secrets. People are broken. In our attempt to ignore it, we are mass producing more brokenness in our children. The only way to make waves is to have a solid foundation. If you’re lucky, someone in a past life figured that out for you. If that’s not your reality, you still have time.
If you think about it, 50 years seems like, the blink of an eye. So – it should be of no surprise that we cut some corners somewhere. It seems we assumed acquiring the things of the privileged would equate to achieving the Dream. Yet, oppression has never been about things. Oppression has always been about your mind. It is about convincing you that inferiority is woven into the fabric of your being. It is about finding ways to impose a level of grief on someone that the mind cannot process. It is an irrational game that does not let up until you become it — irrational. Until the lines are so blurred that you become the perpetrator of your own pain. In the face of an indestructible human spirit, there is only one strategy that evil can apply. Kill the roots.
We’ve seen it across civilizations, not just our own. The pillar of all societies, family. Slavery was only made possible by severing people from their roots. Once uprooted, you cannot grow. Stunted — you cannot show your children how to grow. The essence of life seems mysterious because you never knew, and those that gave way to you never knew. The truth of who you are is buried so deep that your life in and of itself may not be enough to recover the pieces.
And even still, there is hope.
Because if you think about it, what is the genesis of family? Two relative strangers, making the decision to love unconditionally. You see, while family is pertinent to making waves. Family, is a choice.
Family is not a shared last name, or an assembly of people under one roof.
Family is your sacred place. Where evil is unwelcome. Where evil does not stand a chance if it shows up anyway, and it will show up anyway.
Family is an environment without conditions.
Family is how you circle the wagons when all hell breaks loose.
Family is bedrock.
Family is where two whole individuals come together and make waves aka highly functioning individuals that go on to do the same.
These are things I know through observations, not experience. I’ve had to do a lot of work to come to these conclusions. I have a dream that others will do theirs too.
True progress requires a MLK vision to pull you through, but a Malcolm X grit to dig deep into the trenches of your soul and learn to make waves.
I hope you learn to make waves.
I have a dream too.