A Tribute to Coretta Scott King & Martin Luther King


Submitted for publication on 1//31/06

I share this with you now, this January 31, 2006, to honor Coretta Scott King, someone with whom I had the deepest blessing to meet and to share a few moments many years ago, and who passed from human form today. 

Whether by coincidence or divine guidance, I happened to be cleaning out old files and papers last night, and found something I wrote almost exactly 10 years ago to the day, deeply inspired by the lives and spirit of Coretta and her husband Martin. 

In January, 1996, my daughter came home from school with a homework assignment for her parents, to use Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" theme, telling what kind of world we dream of, especially for our daughter.  Here's mine, as true today as it was in 1996:


I have a dream that all men and women, the young and the old, will all live in peace on our planet.

I have a dream that conflict will create instead of destroy, that it will build with its energy rather than tear down with its violence. 

I have a dream of a world in which conflicts are resolved with words instead of weapons, where individual desires harmonize with the needs of an orderly, interdependent, compassionate society. 

I dream of a day when all men and women, the young and the old, will know who they are, not just as Americans, or just Japanese, not just Black or just White, not just rich or just poor, but equal children of the same God, sharing a garden created for our mutual joy. 

I have a dream that one day, our differences will be celebrated for the tapestry of God's beauty rather than the cacophony of endless intolerance.  I have a dream that one day, our individual judgments and prejudice will be seen as they truly are, a mirror reflecting the fear and guilt of our minds, waiting for the acceptance of our souls' and God's forgiveness.

I have a dream that one day mothers will not have to fear that their sons and daughters will die at the hands of another human; that humans will develop the wisdom to see conflict as opportunities to grow spiritually as a civilization.  I dream of a day when war will only be a word in history books, when violence will be described to children as how humans used to act when the frustrations of life were met with the feelings of despair and desperation. I dream of a day when hope and faith and love are the guiding lights of each person's day.

I have a dream that my daughters and their global peers will guide human civilization with deeper wisdom and peace than our generation.  I have a dream that my daughters, along with millions of others, will help lead those whom they touch daily and thus, in an ever-growing spiral of love, the world civilization to true abiding peace, to richer experiences of joy, and to clearer visions of beauty in life as it can be lived and shared on this beautiful planet.

And I have been to the mountaintop.  I have seen enemies hold hands, cry in each others' arms, and kiss a smiling face that once contorted with fear and hatred.  I have seen the face of God, even in the eyes of the angry, the fearful, the sleeping children of an infinitely patient God.  I have seen a physically broken, spiritual man cry tears of joy at the beauty and wonder of life.  I have felt the power of a diseased child facing death and the uncertainty of tomorrow with a spirit of courage and strength and hope that can only be from God. I have seen unity of spirit in diversity of custom; I have glimpsed the divine and infinitely intelligent logic of a universe guided and infused only by love. I have touched the peace that is a consequence of jumping into the chasm of the unknown and the seemingly unknowable, trusting in a God that loves me as I let go of the fear and doubt I've held close to my heart.

I have been to the mountaintop.  I know that this world's future, my daughters' futures, are bright, shining gloriously with the spirit of love, shared round the world as men and women, the young and the old everywhere, wake up and see their inherent worthiness and beauty. 

I have been to the mountaintop.  I know that love is the only principle that rules our universe, that its expression expands in the universe every day and that love and only love will last for eternity, and in every eternal moment of our lives.

I have a personal dream, a dream that is becoming more my waking reality each day, a dream that I live in peace each moment with myself, and thus with ALL my fellow Brothers and Sisters and with my world, no matter what superficial conflict we might share.

I have a dream, a dream that is becoming more my waking reality each day, a dream that I share the joy of living with my human family, in recognizing and realizing the heaven on earth that we have had available from time immemorial.  I have this dream and I know I share this dream with billions of uniquely beautiful children of one parent, one God.  I have a dream and that dream is my life, today and tomorrow.

Joy,

Dan Erdman January, 1996

 

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