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I Have a Dream,Too

If Dr. King taught and told us anything on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial 33 years ago, it was that you should either dream big or don’t dream at all. The speech he gave didn’t become known as the “I Have a Suggestion Speech,” but rather the “I Have a Dream Speech” that inspires us all.

His dreams so long ago of former slaves and former slave owners eating together was as far fetched a pipe dream as they came back then. Dreaming that his children wouldn’t be judged by the color of their skin was as hopeful as it gets. And dreaming that little black girls and boys could join hands with little white boys and girls was darn near impossible. But hey, if you can’t dream big, don’t dream.

The dreams that others and I have for Darfur are big dreams. Humungous. Larger than life. MLK-type dreams. We take the spirit of Dr. King and dream big. Hoping that the genocide will end tomorrow is optimistic at best and fairy-tale in scope. Dreaming that the victims will receive the aid and support they need to begin their lives again is a gigantic wish. And believing that this can all happen with an international coalition led by the world’s superpowers is a yearning so deep that only the most idealistic dare think it.

But, as we learned so long ago, we not only should dream big, but actively work together with others to make our dreams come true. Dr. King also taught us the virtue of never giving up. He showed us how to build a legacy that lasts long after our days on this earth. And he modeled nonviolence not as a task to be completed, but as a way of living. For these reasons we remember him today.

I don’t write these words to memorialize a great leader as I do to begin a new chapter in the quest to bring peace to a tried and weary land. I write to motivate the people who are suffering the most to continue the struggle of survival and to dream of a day when Sudan is both united and peaceful. I write to thank the aid workers, long overworked and fatigued from giving, that they may continue to dream of a day when the innumerable needs of the Sudanese have ceased. I write because I, too, have a dream.

“I Have a Dream,Too”