I teach college speech. That means that I get to teach the crescendo ending to a speech and no one had that better than Martin Luther King Jr. and every semester I play his, “I have been to the mountain top” speech because there is no speech better to create a movement than that one. You know how I know? Because every single time I play it my students transform into action. I see engaged faces and eyes, reactions to each and every single word and the build up always creates movement. Movement that seems and feels unintentional with the most intention. I love watching it and I love that still after all this time this speech can insight such a response.
But still today we struggle with the same issues. The same prejudices. It is still ugly and we still have miles to go. It seems so simple to me and I wonder where things get complicated. Just a minute ago as I replayed this speech for my girls to hear (yes I am that mom) my youngest said to me.
“Mom, he just had a dream. Not the kind you have night. The kind where everyone matters no matter what. They are all special no matter their skin color, favorite color, hair color or the way they talk.”
Why can it not be that simple. Sometimes it seems as if we have gone backwards and hate breeds stronger in our hearts and minds. And I don’t know how others cope, but my one true method will always be with love. I have seen it change and move mountains in the way MLK talked about in this speech.
Maybe one day.