Every year when Martin Luther King’s birthday comes around I do get out his “I have a dream” speech and READ it. It’s beautifully written for an era that hatred covered the land not because someone’s skin color determined their fate, but that the whites were afraid their lives would change if people of color had equal status. King did do it right.
Words mean so much and can stir a body of people to reach for their inner angels or demons. Hitler, Lincoln, Kennedy, Reagan, Pope John Paul II, Machiavelli, Jefferson, Voltaire, Marx, Martin Luther, The Bible, Koran, or Mark Twain, all knew the value of the written word and when you read it, surely their words stir something in you to do better or their bidding.
One of my favorite lines, and there are many in this speech, is this, “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.” If the phrase “tranquilizing drug of gradualism” doesn’t ring true to you today, then you’re choosing to just go along and let others take care of things. It’s hard work to keep us a solid community. It takes caring, concerned citizens to be the strenth of those that cannot or will not stand up for themselves. We live in a wonderful country where our freedoms are protected.
Let’s start with Martin Luther Kings, I have a Dream. American Rhetoric covers many notible speeches.