This past week the nation celebrated Martin Luther King Day. The iconic civil rights leader would have been 86 this year. On a swelteringly hot day in August 1963, Reverend King delivered one of the greatest oratories in American history – his famously inspiring “I have a dream” speech, which he delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
While I don’t claim to possess Mr. King’s eloquence, I too have a dream. And it’s very personal. With your permission, I would like to share it with you today.
I have a dream, too – By Tim Jones
My fellow Americans, like the great Reverend Martin Luther King, I, too, have a dream.
I have a dream that one day there will be peace throughout the world, and that people of all races and religions will walk hand in hand, free from hatred, distrust or fear, united in a common belief that all men and all women are truly created equal in God’s eyes – with the possible exception of people who like Duck Dynasty.
I have a dream that one day I will be able to look out my window and see little white boys and girls playing with little black boys and girls and I’ll be able to shout out with joy and happiness, “Hey, you kids, get off my lawn!”
I have a dream that my two daughters, born in China, will one day be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their MCAT and GMAT graduate school test scores, which I hope and pray will be in the top 30 percentile. Otherwise, I doubt they’ll get in, and then they’ll end up moving back home.
I have a dream that even in the sweltering state of Mississippi, where race relations still simmer, my hotel room will have air conditioning and one of those pools with a circular slide, or else I will never visit Mississippi in the summer time. Or Louisiana, for that matter.
I have a dream that I will soon be able to retire with a full pension even though my employer does not actually have a pension plan, and I have only $30,000 tucked away in retirement savings. I can dream, can’t I?
I have a dream that one day I will be able to sleep through an entire night and not have to get up to go to the bathroom a single time.
I have a dream that one day, perhaps in the far distant future, my kids will return home to me and circle around me in a loving embrace and tell me that they forgive me for all the times I took away their cell phones for misbehaving when they were young. As I said previously, it’s a dream! Please don’t shatter my dream.
I have a dream that one day my hair will stop falling out and that I will not become like my father – bald as a cue ball. I will settle for a bad comb-over like my Uncle Bert.
I have a dream that the next time I buy a giant new flat screen TV, I won’t need a Ph.D. in computer technology to set it up.
I have a dream that all Americans, regardless of political stripe, will come together in a spirit of unity and brotherhood and proclaim Rush Limbaugh the most bombastic ass in American media history. (But I will be okay if they select Bill O’Reilly instead.)
I have a dream that someday, I will learn how to hit a straight tee shot that actually ends up in the fairway.
I have a dream that one day, not far from now, I may finally own a BMW, or perhaps an Audi – preferably in metallic royal blue, with heated leather seats, one that comes fully loaded – including a Bose 15-speaker surround-sound system – in the hopes that finally I will own a car that makes my neighbors jealous.
I have a dream that before I die, I will travel to the four corners of the world and experience the rainbow of rich cultures from Peru to Persia and beyond and learn about the customs of the local people, as they serve me a frozen lime daiquiri, while I lie poolside in a deck chair under a cabana, exchanging air kisses with Beyoncé.
I have a dream that I will wake up to find my home miraculously equipped with a new 12’ x 12’ hot tub, along with a state-of-the-art remote controlled fire pit in the back yard, and a giant outdoor all-weather theater system, oh, and a bowling alley in my basement – with an elevator, so I don’t have to take the stairs. And all of this will have been paid for an anonymous benefactor whose business card simply reads, The Condor.
I believe this dream can come true someday, brothers and sisters – except for that part about hitting a straight tee shot.
And when that day arrives, let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, that day when all of God’s children, black and white, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing together: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last – well, from lower back pain anyway.
That’s my dream from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2015