We All Have Dreams
On January 21, in the United States, we honor an American who stood in the face of adversity, and through his actions and words, inspired many to consider their dreams. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his most recognized and oft quoted speech uttered these words: “...I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character...“
Dr. King delivered this speech in 1963, the same year I was born. I was too young to recall that speech or watch the media coverage of the Civil Rights march in Washington, DC., but I know the words. And the messages of this speech and the words spoken in 1963 remain moving and inspirational today.
If you haven’t read the full transcript of the speech or if it has been awhile, here is a link to Dr. King’s most recognized address to the nation.
I share a similar dream with Dr. King. My dream is that every child, regardless of skin color, religion, familial makeup and socio-economic status is granted an “inalienable” right to a childhood. UNICEF defines childhood as “the time for children to be in school and at play, to grow strong and confident with the love and encouragement of their family and an extended community of caring adults. It is a precious time in which children should live free from fear, safe from violence and protected from abuse and exploitation.”
As the director of Omaha Children’s Museum, I have the privilege of working with a committed team of museum professionals who share this dream with me. Part of our vision for the work we do includes the commitment to granting every child who comes through our doors the opportunity to play, grow strong and confident in the love and encouragement of their caregivers and our community of caring team members that support these opportunities.
Just as Dr. King knew he might not see his dream fulfilled within in his lifetime, we know that our work will never conclude, so long as there are children who require a childhood in our world.
Today, I encourage you to follow in the practice of those who have called for change in the world, to embrace the spark of influence and help us plant those seeds in the young minds of the children who find a piece of their childhood here.
“I’m not saying I’m gonna rule the world, or that I am gonna change the world, but I guarantee I will spark the brain that will change the world.” - Tupac Shakur, American Rapper