August 28, 1963.
The evening news showed Martin Luther King, Jr. giving his now famous I Have a Dream speech.
As an almost eight-year-old, I listened, sensing the underlying truth of what he was saying.
The next day’s newspaper carried the full text and I read it out loud to my mother, asking for clarification of different phrases and the overall context of the speech.
Even as a seven-year-old, I heard Dr. King’s Biblical allusions and the cadence of the Gettysburg address.
These words would change me to work for peace and to treat others with kindness and respect.
1963. Two score and seventeen years ago.
Dreams are strange things. Often we don’t realize we accomplished our dreams. Other times we defer our dreams with no awareness at all.
This week, a timely book arrived in my mailbox, sent by a friend, Susan, who shares a dream that we can all work towards peace with love and small actions.
This book, created by Tanya Zabinski, offers us “everyday acts of goodness from A to Z”.
Peace, Love, Action! : Everyday Acts of Goodness from A to Z highlights 26 characteristics of acting with peace and love to change our situations.
Targeted to the middle school aged person, I think this book can be used with elementary aged children within our families and schools, also.
Zabinski illustrates the book with her distinctive prints while telling us a story of a person that used one of their strengths to make a difference.
From Autumn Peltier showing and teaching Appreciation for our water, to Julia Child’s cooking with Zest, we discover 26 ways that we, too, can make a difference.
Each chapter ends with a What You Can Do page, a short list of steps we can take, today, to start on our journey of peace, love and action.
Yes, our problems today are huge and overwhelming.
We don’t, though, have to defer our dreams of people sitting down at the table of humanity with kindness and respect for each other.
With this book we each have 26 examples of how to take the first step, along with at least a couple of hundred doable tasks.
I have a dream. Show others how to take the first step towards peace.
This book may be that first step.