In tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and his historic contributions to advancing human rights. I would like to share my own “I Have A Dream” call to action. While the challenges we face in 2016 are different than they were in 1963, in many ways they are the same. The themes of this blog post reflect causes about which I am passionate, and ones which, while progress has been made since Dr. King’s speech, work remains to be done.
I have a dream…that one day we will see one another as fellow human beings with love in our hearts, smiles on our faces, and laughter in our soul. A dream where the lens of color, race, religion, or sexual orientation is replaced with the lens of brotherhood and sisterhood, embracing each person’s uniqueness, and acceptance of different beliefs and perspectives. A dream where we are more attentive to our language and thought habits so we can mindfully grow towards greater acceptance, gratitude, community, love, and respect for all. A dream where each person’s goal is to be their best, focusing on being better today than you were yesterday.
I have a dream…that the lens of difference, fear, judgment, and close-mindedness is no longer part of who we are. That we see similarities first, embrace our common humanity, and approach one another with curiosity, acceptance, inclusion, generosity, and love.
I have a dream… that someday soon board rooms, C-suites, classrooms and movie screens better reflect the diversity of our people and we all benefit from the vast experiences and insights represented. Where women and men are paid equitably for doing the same jobs. Where each person has a voice, shares it, and encourages others to do the same. Where each person’s story matters, and we see differences as a learning opportunity. Where we use our curiosity to explore the unknown and to build relationships and understanding. We can do better than to label, exclude, discount, judge, or be fearful based upon difference, lack of perspective, and ignorance.
I have a dream…that we will choose to live from a mindset of abundance, acceptance, gratitude, and possibility. That deficit-thinking, weakness-fixing, and living from a mindset of scarcity becomes a thing of the past. I dream of a world where current and future generations learn that when each of us lives our purpose and fully taps into our strengths, the world will expand to meet the richness and enormity of our individual and collective talents.
I have a dream… that the academic and business communities will operate interdependently, flexibly, and collaboratively to better educate and prepare our youth to effectively meet the employment demands of these dynamic times. Where education is truly designed for the student's purposeful learning and growth, and better prepares them for life, higher education, and the professional world.
Our children, our communities, and our nation need us to be comfortable with change and new ways of doing things. As Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” What if each of us looked past what we know and sought to understand what today's students, the educational system, and employers need now and in the future? What if we were less fearful of change and embraced the discomfort of our growth zone? What if each of us chose to operate from interdependence (I serve us, so we can serve others), thinking beyond self-interest or limiting beliefs to serving a larger purpose together? What would be different for you?
I leave you with these words that hold meaning for me:
HOPE. SOUL. BOLD. UNIQUENESS. STORY. COMPASSION. CONNECTION. EDUCATE. EVOLVE. ELEVATE. INSPIRE. COMMITMENT. ACTION. FREEDOM. FULFILLMENT. SERVICE.
They drive what I do, and why I do it. They remind me of the larger purpose I serve and for whom I do it. I am the vehicle. You are in the driver's seat. You are the cause, the purpose, and the inspiration. My dream is to reveal the best YOU.
What is your purpose? Why is it important to you? Who will you serve? What is the first step you will take to make it happen? Let’s do this…TOGETHER.
YOU Matter. Everyone Matters.