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The Dream of a 7th Grader

Last month, countless students across this country penned their own, "I Have a Dream," speeches.  My sister's students were no exception.  Her students wrote, delivered, and recorded their speeches.  As the class watched the compilation of dreams, one speech left students with jaws open, eyes teary, and prompted a class of 7th graders to stand and applaud spontaneously   With the permission of the author and his parents, I share his big dream.  I hope this encourages you about our future and inspires you to dream big again:

I Have A Dream
“You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.” - Matthew 5:13 and 5:14. These things, salt and light, are not rare, extraordinarily special, or particularly valuable. However, they can have a huge impact: a single match can make the difference between utter, smothering darkness, and a warm, gentle glow. Salt, likewise, made the difference for many ancient people whether a slab of meat would feed you for a day or a month. Kindness is comparable to these in terms of significance and impact, and so I call upon the world: “Be the kind deeds of your people.”

I have a dream that one day this nation will lay down the sword of hatred, of bitterness, of spite, and take up instead the balm of gentleness, compassion, and love.

I have a dream that one day all men shall let the light of kindness shine in their hearts and deeds, that it may guide others, light their paths, and shield them from the dark night of solitude and despair.

I have a dream that one day the chains of apathy will be left behind by humanity, and that thoughtless acts of anger, that mindless taunts and jeers, will be swept away like a dike of cruelty shattered and overcome by a mighty flood of compassion.

I have a dream that all should choose to expend the effort to be kind, that none should do otherwise believing in the insignificance of their deeds. Does not a blizzard consist of many small, harmless flakes of snow? Does not a forest consist of many trees? Does not a nation consist of many individuals? Truly, then, a whole group is greater than the sum of its parts, and apathy due to the smallness of one’s acts is counted among the gravest blows one can strike against this glorious cause of mankind.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the power of words and convictions will be used to build people up like artisans crafting a statue instead of tearing them down like a tapestry being torn and burned, with those responsible wallowing gleefully in the ashes.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day all people will be able to rely on their fellow humans for support, rely on them to encourage them and fill their day with the bright sunlight of compassion rather than the dark, rumbling stormclouds of malice.
This is our hope: with this faith we will be able to fight the evil in this world, to be kind enough to aid the fight against the atrocities of hate and apathy, to conquer poverty, hunger, homelessness, and a countless multitude of horrors with the springboard of kindness.

This will be the day when the night of spite will be driven away by the dawn of kindness. This will be the day when the wounds of malice shall be cured by the potent medicine of compassion. This will be the day when the ramparts of the fortress of hatred will be stormed by the forces of love. This will be the day when the throne of evil shall be cast down. This will be the day when the greatest flaw of humankind will be vanquished. This will be the day when a new age shall dawn for the earth, when the race of men shall be one step closer on its journey to perfection.

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