I Had A Dream

I had a dream. A dream of America. In my dream, the people of my country stood in two lines, a right and a left. And in my dream,  I listened as both lines hurled insulting, hurtful, hateful words at the other line. I watched as both lines heaved sticks, stones and flaming objects at one another.
I had a dream. That dream woke me up in the middle of the night. It stole my peace. It unsettled and disturbed me. It made me feel hopeless. It took away my sense of security. It invaded my day.

I had a dream. It made me think. My dream was not about the results of an election. America, my dream was about the reactions of a people.

I had a dream. It reminded me that the reason I cried on Wednesday morning was not because of the outcome of the race - I am not here to comment one way or the other on that - but because of how I saw friends and family treat each other.

I had a dream. In my dream, I chose to move into the middle of the lines where I too experienced the hurt and hate that was being hurled. And I too was hit by the heavy, wounding objects. It came from both sides. And it hurt.

I had a dream; a dream that I want to change. Because in the middle, I recognized that both both sides are scared. When we are scared, we tend to lash out.

America, I invite you into my dream. I invite you into the middle of the lines. Not to persaude someone of your view of the issues, because we have tried – for eighteen months, for longer. Neither side has been willing to listen to the other. I invite you into the middle. It will hurt. But I invite you into the middle. I invite you stand in silence and listen to the other side. I invite you to acknowledge their feelings, even if you don't agree. Why? Because in the middle there is no us or them. Before we can move forward, we must be able to sit at the same table. Before we can talk, we must listen. So be the one, from whichever side. Be the one to step into the middle, to listen.

I had a dream. As long as we stay in my dream, we can't change anything. It doesn't matter how loud we shout, we cannot shout anyone into believing what we do. No matter what we throw at them, we cannot beat the other side into believing what we do. 

I had a dream. And as I end my day, I know one thing for certain. When I fall asleep tonight, I don’t want to go back to that dream. So America, will you join me in the middle? Will you help me change my dream?

I have a dream. A dream that we will live by words like these:
"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." ~ Romans 12:12-21
I have a dream. It reminds me that nothing can steal my peace. That I always have hope. That my security does not lie in my government.

I have a dream. But I can’t move the lines. You can't move the lines. But I can walk into the middle. I can listen. And so can you. America, will you join me?


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