Monday, January 16, 2012

Learning About The Dream

The kids are home from school today and it's easy to just think about it as another day off for them.  So I thought we'd quickly Google "I have a dream speech".  As you might imagine there are a lot of resources popping up...

Wikipedia entry
Full text and audio on American Rhetoric
MLK Online

...and of course on YouTube...



While I listen to the speech...again...and again...and read the text I feel moved yet sadly disconnected.  I was born 4 years after this speech was given and have no memories of the '60s and only fleeting youthful memories of the '70s.

I've listened to Nancy Duarte speak at The Learning Solutions conference about how she studied the speech and I've read her book on the pattern of a powerful speech. And it is a powerful speech.  The speech is truly moving on so many levels and gives us an emotional look at the struggles of America at that time.

That brings me to thoughts on context.  The speech was the right speech given at the right time.  And today, I wonder if we'll ever truly hear something this moving ever again.  Today's context is a digital cacophony of the connected world's voices.  It's a flood of speeches, rants, and raving, from everyone with a grievance and then some.  And while this is empowering, and can be viewed as a great equalizer and opportunity for many, we struggle to find nuggets of trusted wisdom that so many crave.

My hope on this Martin Luther King day is that we can all use the wonderful power of the internet to not only learn from one man, but for every person to feel empowered to share their voice with the world.  Because while I don't think there will ever again be ONE powerful voice, or speech, I do believe the connected collection of the world's voices will some day be a chorus we can all appreciate and participate in.
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