God’s Dream and Our Dream

August 28th was the 60th anniversary of the famous speech “I have a dream” by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. who was an African-American civil rights activist. This speech was given in front of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s declaration abolishing slavery in Washington. This brought a great response and it even resulted in Reverent King receiving Nobel Peace Prize following year. This speech saying ‘I have a dream’ was included in all the texts that people studied in English reference books during my time of being a student and most of you will probably remember it.

I still remember the middle part that was very moving. “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. 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. …”

And after 50 years, a black president commemorated that speech and delivered a speech at the same place, and the amazing dream seemed have been fulfilled. Many people in this world may point to the inequality in average wages of the blacks or the unemployment rate among them and criticize that even though blacks may have achieved the political equality, but that the inequality in economic or freedom has worsened, but I think these will require more complex debate whether these may be due to the limited opportunities or a lack of better efforts. But even Reverend Martin Luther King probably never dreamed that a black President would appear within two generations of this speech and this is one of the amazing dreams that have been achieved in this world.

Every person lives with dreams without exception. But there are three points of view to look at the dreams. First is the Buddhist point of view. That point of view is that the dreams are nothing but sinful nature and will destroy us in the end, so we are to forget and empty ourselves. Second is the atheistic point of view. Everything will happen by chance so if you live by trying your best then your dream may come true due to some fortunate circumstances. Third is the Christian point of view. God gives us the dream and when we do not purse our own dreams but only pursue the dreams that God gives to us, we will obtain the true purpose for our lives.

I think that Reverend Martin Luther King’s dream became true because it was not a personal dream of Reverend King but a dream given by God. When God wants to do something, he looks for the person that can dream with Him. He then gives a holy charge to that person and works through that calling. We can find many examples in Bible and in history, but no matter how his life was difficult or materially lacking; his life was rich, joyful and filled with meaning. What kind of dream am I following now? We need to examine whether we are throwing away the holy charge from God and are living only for our comfort, and we should become those who are pursuing God’s dreams.

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