Left: Martin Luther King Right: Don GainesThe similarities are uncanny, no? Ok ok, looks-wise, not so much, but their message most assuredly is. This coming Monday is the observation of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. A few years ago, my friend Don wrote about his "dream" and it was subsequently printed in the Seattle Times. I hope one day  to be able to write something as eloquent and insightful. But until then, I can't think of a better opportunity to reproduce the original article here on my blog. Enjoy...

~My Dream, written by Don Gaines.

Like Dr. Martin Luther King, I too have a dream.  I see a world were elected officials act like statesmen instead of politicians.  Where their concern is good public policy rather than getting votes.  Where the best way to get elected is a by molding a solid platform rather than a game-show-host hairdo.  Where republicans aren’t controlled by the religious right and where democrats aren’t driven by the gay and liberal agenda.  It’s a place where voters realize that matters such as abortion and same-sex marriage are personal, not political, issues.  Where there are no red states or blue states, just United States.  Where morality is shared, not legislated. 

It’s a world of fewer wars because organized religion promotes acceptance rather than intolerance. Where Protestants and Catholics get along in Northern Ireland.  Where Jews and Arabs share territory in the Holy Land.  Where fanatics loosen their turbans and their extremism. Where Sunnis don’t hate Shias, Hutus don’t hate Tutsis, and vice versa. Where the only tribe is that of the human race. 

In my dream, there is no Black community.  There is no Latino community.  There is only one community of which we all are a part.  In this community, there is little crime because all who want to work have jobs.  There are no unions because employers treat their employees equitably.  It’s a place where selecting the job of educating our children is the highest paid profession because of the responsibility it entails.  A place where our schools revert back to considering ketchup a condiment instead of a vegetable.  A community where the residents realize that along with the right to vote 'no' to taxes comes the responsibility to contribute to charitable organizations that provide social services. 

It’s a world where beauty is defined by what we contribute, rather than how we look.   Where people take responsibility for their actions.   Where fast food companies aren’t blamed for our expanding waist lines.  Where restaurants and bars aren’t sued for the irresponsibility of drunk drivers. Where murderers are held responsible for killing, not the companies that manufacture the weapons they use.  Where people recognize that one large part of the cure for diseases like obesity and alcoholism is an injection of self-control. 

But then I wake and realize it was all just a dream.  But I also recognize that we have the power to create this world.  If we all help the less fortunate.  If we can accept the views of others even if they differ from our own.  If we wake up with the goal of making the world a better place.  One by one.  Little by little.  If we all try. Then we can lay down to rest satisfied with our accomplishments.  And dream of a world that is a better place.  And wake to make it so...