Martin Luther King Jr. was not a dreamer—he was a doer.
He was a walking, talking, reading, studying, speaking, preaching, traveling man…not a sleeping, wishing, thinking, hoping man. He was a doing man; he went for and did the things he dreamt.
Even if it meant someday being a dead man.
Even if it meant someday not living to see the dream reach its promised land.
And I wanna tell you to be like him.
Not in a suit and tie kind of way, and not in a preacher-behind-the-pulpit kind of way. But, be like Martin, like how he was in the soul—in the fire pit of his heart, with crackling wood that never gave in, never burned out, never hissed that expiring smoke and sound.
I wanna tell the you that dreams to be like how he dared and did.
That, your dream won’t live until you’ve died, until you’ve fought to push air into its lungs, even when that meant no breath left in yours. Even in the face of beatings, in the face of prison walls, in the face of big stones cast through small panes of shattered glass.
You might not have a sermon to set the captive free, but there’s a song in your heart and you better sing it. You might not have a speech to knock down White House walls, but you have a degree and it might be the key to holding meetings that will knock on the right doors. You might not have a message to write off radicalism and racial divides, but you’ve got a warm meal and a table with empty chairs that won’t choose sides.
You’re not allowed to call it a dream unless you’re willing to actually do for it, die for it; not allowed to say that it’s impossible or that it can’t be done if you’ve never really reached for it or went for it.
It might not change the world; it might only change you. You might not live to watch it come to pass—you might not ever see the end in sight; it might, even, be the end of you.
But I need you to dream until your last breath, need you to dream until you gave your all. I need you to dream and dare and do until every valley in your life is exalted, every hill and mountain made low—until the rough places are made plain, and the crooked places are made straight.
I need you to burn forceful and long and fierce until all that’s left is thin smoke rising, like the faint whisper of some old negro song.
Free at last.
Free at last.
Thank God Almighty—
I’m free at last.