Back in the day when desktop computers the color of gum drops were all the rage, email was a fascinating phenomenon. My entry into the teenage years was characterized by long winded questionnaires my friends and I bounced back and forth. The question which remains highlighted in my memory is “if you could meet anybody, living or dead, who would it be?” While my peers fantasized about sharing space with the then airbrush perfect Hollywood star, my dream dinner guest had captivating, bottomless eyes and timeless wisdom. He breathed conviction and passion into every syllable, inviting imagination for a more temperate cultural climate.
He was Martin Luther King Jr.
These days, I engage in visualizations that posit this emblematic civil rights leader and humanitarian as much more than a beloved dinner guest. I carry his paradigm for equality, inclusion and integrity along with me as I would an accoutrement. I envision his form in miniature, perched casually atop of my shoulder, urging me toward patience in my social justice pursuits. I imagine in what ways he would contextualize the polarized American population within his framework of love. And then, I keep dreaming, just like him.