The dreams Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. laid out in his famous speech in front of a crowd of thousands in Washington, DC nearly 50 years ago are ringing true today. In front of another crowd of thousands in the nation’s capital, Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the United States, is being inaugurated for his second term on the same day that we celebrate the achievements of Dr. King, the esteemed civil rights leader.
When Dr. King gave his speech in 1963, the nation was riddled with racism and segregation and African-Americans weren’t able to vote or run for office in parts of the South. Despite all of this, he still dreamed of a place where his children would be judged “not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Today, President Obama will take his oath of office on Martin Luther King Jr’s bible, as well as another bible used by President Abraham Lincoln, who wrote the Emancipation Proclamation that brought an end to slavery in the United States 150 years ago.
King and Lincoln dared to dream and think differently, laying the groundwork for a country where every man and woman are equal. In a speech yesterday, President Obama reminded the American people that the inauguration is a time to “celebrate each other and this incredible nation we call home” and that every person has to “work hard as they can on issues important to them” and that “there is something bigger than ourselves.”
PeacePlayers International encourages children in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, South Africa and Cyprus, areas with a long history of conflict to dream of change to see others as teammates and friends. If children can think peacefully and work together, changing the status quo, they can start to change the thinking of their nations. Today is a perfect one to reflect on the power of dreams and change and the incredible work happening every day around the world.