“I Have a Dream” is one of six lessons on Human Rights which I developed for my students to learn about human rights, about abuses of human rights, about the Civil Rights Movement and how all of this relates to their own lives. One of the activities is to read Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and write about their own dreams.
Here are some of my students’ responses to this assignment where they shared their own dreams. I hope you enjoy reading them.
To read more about my motivation behind the creation of the 6 lessons, please read “Learning about human rights is a human right itself”.
I Have A Dream: Alessio
I have a dream, which has become the objective of my life. My life is a journey toward this destination. I was a child when I started to write numbers: I always loved numbers and thought with numbers. I wrote numbers on the walls of my house, as if they were thoughts. Little by little, numbers started to tell a story, the story of a dream, the dream of my life. When I was a child, I often travelled with my parents and observed the world: everything appeared immense. I remember that I was enchanted by the beauty of some buildings or the vastness of the skyscrapers. At the same time, both the sea and the sky overwhelmed me: man and nature, colours and movement mixed together and induced me to think of how many things have been made and how I could even include the immensity of the sky and the movement of the sea to all of that! My fantasy created, projected and unmade what was to make anew. Although both the sky and the sea were not made of numbers, they had the fascination of a yet to solve mathematical theorem …
Rethinking about yesterday, this was my dilemma. My favourite game was playing with LEGO bricks. I built things to draw my dreams in the book of my fantasy… My dream began to take form, and when I was only 6, I built the “Death Star” of Star Wars. It was made of more than three thousand LEGO bricks… Once again planning and building: from numbers to forms. With my naive eyes of a child, I felt I could build everything and bring shapes to life automating small devices. In short, I loved building; specifically, my greatest wish was to build planes, star ships, rockets. All originated observing planes flying in the skies.
My dream then changed… I always considered the sky as a safe harbour, because the stars draw paths and lead to whom we used to love and now is not here anymore. In the immensity of the sky and beyond, as a film I saw when I was a child used to say. Beyond the infinity, the space representing the wonder of the Universe… My passion for every living being originated from all these thoughts. Air and space… Until one day, I started to read Asimov’s tales on automation and robotics, so that I realised that I wanted to contribute to the progress of scientific research for a better world, applying automation to medicine and science. The amazing futuristic engineering of Asimov fascinated me, appearing more and more overwhelming up to the present day.
In the COVID-19 era, I realized that Nature can live without us, and that Medicine is the science of the uncertainty. However, we would have a better life if we can produce technological innovations preferably without polluting.
Well, today I dream of transforming my passion for numbers in something different, which involves also my love for philosophy. I have drawn on the sages of the past the principles to believe in the value of Nature, friendship, love and, above all, knowledge. Both questions and answers drive me from the space to the earth, and then back again on towards infinity.
I have a dream, as Martin Luther King said. To that, I add that everybody should have a dream in which to believe for the future. My dream is giving shape to numbers in systems. I want to feel the emotion of contributing to the discovery of space, see its harmony and try to save our planet. I am studying hard for this purpose. I will turn the emotions of my heart into energy for my spirit. I have a dream too. My dream is to become an engineer and make this too fragile world a better place on the wings of the classical culture. When I visited the NASA, my heart skipped a beat… I thought that I could be among those who wrote those numbers for that rocket. Today, after keeping the social distance among men due to COVID-19, thinking of watching the earth from the space, I feel the need to devote all my energies to the present in order to guarantee our future. Beyond the dream, I run over the rainbow of my emotions. I will try to help Science accelerate technological innovations to keep humans and Nature safe. We can defend our dreams thinking of the strength of the freedom to save lives… In this way, I will come out of fear and uncertainty, to become a man who will give shape to numbers… Whether I become an engineer, a physicist, or a mathematician, today I know that I have a dream: to try to leave my footprint on an unknown planet… my own Earth… on a path which is my own life. I have a dream!
Quotes by Martin Luther King Jr.
· Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?
· We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
· Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
I Have A Dream: Elena
I have a dream, or rather many dreams.
I have a dream that one day we will all be equal.
I hope that one day women won’t be underestimated or considered objects, that they will be able to walk alone at night without fearing to be assaulted.
I dream that one day racism will be eliminated, that Asian people won’t be bound to the idea of poor or knockoff, that black people won’t be killed in the middle of the streets because the police thought that they were a danger to society.
I believe that one day people won’t be abandoned by their own families and friends because of their sexuality or way of thinking.
I hope that one day men openly expressing their feelings won’t be considered weak.
I dream that one day everyone will be able to practice their own religion without being called terrorists or being obligated to go against their own beliefs.
I believe that every child in the world will be able to live their lives peacefully, not being victims of abuse by their own parents or other family members.
I hope that one day pollution will only be a memory from a distant past, that every animal will be safe and sound.
I have a dream that one day all of my wishes will come true and I will be able to live my best life without regretting anything.
I Have A Dream: Giorgio
I have a purpose … that in the future I will reach all my destination and targets, overcoming all the obstacles that life will put before me. I’m gonna fulfil all my desires and aspirations.
I have a task… that one day I will make this world a better place for everyone to live in, bringing happiness and abolishing any form of racism, inequality and abuse of human rights and common well-being.
I have a prospect… that when I grow up I will be a leader for others, able to guide them towards a brighter destiny. Being creative and perseverant, I expect to discover something new and to share it with you all: something that is genuinely good for me, for my family, for humankind and for nature.
I have an objective… that for my whole life I will be able to keep my determination and curiosity, spreading love and vitality to all my loved ones and strangers till my moment comes.
I have a dream… that one day the life I lived will be remembered as a source of profound joy, admiration and inspiration for the future generations, willing my name to become an endless and unforgettable allegory of hope.
I Have A Dream: Giorgia
I have a dream that one day no more black nor brown people have to die to make changes. No one has to die to raise awareness among us and to let us know that even if we say that we are equal, we are not treated so.
I have a dream that one-day ignorance is no more the cause of xenophobia, homophobia and racism.
Ignorance is what leads us to hate other people, because of this we do not understand that this feeling of hate is irrational and, even silly.
We -referring to the human race as “we”- are equal in our diversity, we must protect and defend who we are.
I have a dream that one-day gender inequality is just a far memory, and that protests, speeches, manifestation aren’t any more useful because we have already achieved what we’re fighting for, today.
I have a dream that one-day rapes don’t occur just because of what you are wearing or because you’re walking home alone.
Rapes don’t happen, people don’t interpret how other ones are behaving and, use it as an excuse, to do bad actions.
I’m referring to those situations in which women have been harassed because they declined somebody’s inappropriate offers.
I have a dream that one day our children are not worried about what is going to happen next to the world: in which, nature and the Earth, itself, are not jeopardised.
I have a dream that one day next generations are not concerned about the reflection of our wrong and immoral decision.
I have a dream that one day all my hopes can come true. In that dream, freedom, equality and life are not mere concepts, but real facts.
I Have A Dream: Federica
Referring to the speech given by Martin Luther King in 1963 entitled “I have a dream”, I also want to try to talk about my dreams and those of the society around me. I am a 15-year-old girl and for my life I have many plans and desires, many of these hardly verifiable. My biggest dream is to be able to get so passionate about something to decide to do it daily, even as a source of sustenance. Sure, it may seem trivial, but I would like to spend most of my life doing a job that I feel is mine, that makes me realize as a person, that involves me completely, and that makes me useful for others too. Another desire of mine is to achieve inner peace. I think this is a gradual process that can only be achieved through a thorough knowledge of yourself. I recognize that I don’t know myself completely and I hope to succeed in the tortuous path which is life. The only way to get to know each other is to cultivate one’s passions, constantly ask questions, often talk about what we think, believe, dream and finally be determined and achieve our goals. In the society around me I have many expectations. I wish wars and discrimination would not continue, not just racial. I wish religion was not an excuse to prevail, but a reason for equality and sharing. I wish that man was not so presumptuous as to be considered above the other creatures that inhabit this Earth, and above all I would like nobody to consider himself superior to his fellow men, albeit of different sex, culture, skin color, social class. I wish women were recognized for their greatness, and not as a sexual object, male possession. I wish the problem of immigration was not only considered from an economic point of view, but also from a human one. I would like young people in Italy to be more supported and encouraged in culture, of which our homeland is a generous mother, who would be rewarded more, and of course that they would have the opportunity to have a job suitable for their qualification, remaining to live in the own country. I imagine a society that does not prefer wickedness, hatred and selfishness but sharing, the common good, a place where humanity can be fully realized.
I Have A Dream: Giulio B
ON AUGUST 1963 MARTIN LUTHER KING TALKED TO AMERICAN PEOPLE WITH HIS PASSIONATE SPEECH “I HAVE A DREAM” ABOUT EGUALITARISM, CIVIL RIGHTS, JOB, PEACE AND FREEDOOM. HE EXPRESSED WITH HIS EXTRAORDINARY WORDS THE NEED OF A BIG CHANGE IN AMERICAN SOCIETY CALLING TO ACTION THE CITIZENS OF THE USA AND CHANGING FOREVER THE FUTURE OF HIS COUNTRY. THE LAST MONTHS HAVE BEEN SO DIFFICULT, THE WHOLE WORLD HAS HAD TO FACE A COLOSSAL EVENT: THE COVID PANDEMIC 19.THE LOCKDOWN HAS FORCED PEOPLE TO STAY AT HOME IN ISOLATION AND FORCED THEM TO REFLECT ABOUT LIFE, SOCIETY, RELATIONSHIPS AND THE WEALTH OF OUR PLANET.
I’ M NOT A BRILLANT ORATOR! I’ M ONLY A YOUNG BOY AND UNTIL YESTERDAY I WAS THINKING ONLY ABOUT MYSELF, MY FRIENDS MY SAFETY, MY OWN FUTURE, BUT THIS FRIGHTENING EXPERIENCE HAS CHANGED SOMETHING IMPORTANT INSIDE ME AND I IMAGINE ALSO INSIDE ALL OF YOU. A NEW AWARENESS IS FLOWERING IN OUR CONSCIENCES.
I, TOO, HAVE DREAM AND IT’S A DREAM THAT REQUIRES COLLECTIVE CHANGE IN A POST-COVID WORLD. THE PANDEMIC IS FORCING US TO RESHAPE HOW WE LIVE, WORK, AND CONNECT.
WE’RE GOING THROUGH THIS DIFFICULT METAMORPHOSIS NOW, AND EVEN AFTER THE THREAT OF COVID-19 HAS PASSED, LIFE WILL BE ALTERED. WE JUST DON’T KNOW HOW THAT WILL LOOK YET.
I WANT NOW TO BELIEVE AND HOPE IN A BRIGHT FUTURE. I HOPE FOLKS WILL VALUE FAMILY TIME A BIT MORE.
I HOPE JUST IN GENERAL THAT PEOPLE CAN START WORKING TOGETHER. MY HOPE IS THAT THIS CRISIS TEACHES US THAT OUR OWN ACTIONS AFFECT SO MANY OTHERS, AND THAT WE NEED TO BE RESPECTFUL OF THAT, SO WE DON’T HURT OTHERS, WHETHER INTENTIONALLY OR UNINTENTIONALLY. WE CAN AUTHENTICALLY FIND A NEW LEVEL OF EMPATHY AND UNDERSTANDING FOR THE SUFFERING OF OTHERS.
MY HOPE IS THAT, ENVIRONMENTALLY, WE WILL SEE HOW THE WORLD HAS STARTED TO HEAL NOW THAT WE’RE NOT POLLUTING AS MUCH AND THAT PEOPLE WILL CONTINUE ONCE THIS IS OVER TO SEARCH FOR MORE SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES.
I HOPE GOVERNMENTS, TOO, WILL TAKE IMPORTANT MEASURES TO PRIORITIZE THE WELL-BEING OF THEIR CITIZENS, COMMITTING SIGNIFICANT ECONOMIC RELIEF PACKAGES AND ELEVATING HEALTHCARE EFFORTS TO PROTECT PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES.
NO ONE HAS BEEN LEFT UNTOUCHED BY THE PANDEMIC DURING THE LAST FEW WEEKS, AND THIS ILLUSTRATES IN A VERY CONCRETE AND IMMEDIATE WAY HOW GLOBAL CHALLENGES SUCH AS CLIMATE CHANGE OR GENDER INEQUALITY WILL HIT US ALL EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY SEEM LESS CONCRETE OR PRESSING IN THIS MOMENT.
WE NEED TO SWIFTLY FIND A COMMON UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT SITUATION AND AGREE ON HOW TO TAKE COLLECTIVE ACTION TODAY. I WANT TO REMEMBER YOU THAT THIS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY HOPEFULLY WE WILL USE THIS CRISIS TO REBUILD, PRODUCE SOMETHING BETTER AND MORE HUMANE.
THE WORLD AFTER COVID-19 WILL BE DEFINED BY THE ACTIONS WE TAKE TODAY. LET’S WORK TOGETHER IN SOLIDARY TO ENSURE THAT NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND. THIS IS NOW THE BIGGEST GLOBAL EVENT—AND CHALLENGE—OF OUR LIFETIMES.
I WANT TO TELL YOU THAT NOW AND FOREVER WE HAVE TO AWAKE, REACT AND FIGHT FOR A BETTER WORLD AND A NEW LIFE.
I Have A Dream: Nicola
Everyone has a dream to realize, from childhood, even those who think they have found a right job know that it is not really what they want. ” I’d grow up to be … “, a teacher, a doctor, a dancer, a gymnast, a singer, a scientist, an actor, an astronaut, a veterinarian, a nurse, etc. These are the true dreams of each one of us, but only those who really believe in them can get to the bottom of what they want. But then comes adolescence, you start attending a high school, ideas get confused, and our dreams? Pff, who thinks more, confusion and indecisions influence us a lot especially on the future. But I still have a dream in my drawer, the dream of being able to live in a different world, in a place where you have respect for nature and above all for your neighbor and therefore where the fear and fear of being judged by color of their skin or physical appearance are placed on a secondary plane.When, for example, we see a person different from our stereotypes, many spontaneously think badly of her, because prejudice prevails over reason, sensitivity and sense of humanity that we should have towards others. In many countries of the world the differences between the social, political and economic situation of women compared to that of men are still evident, which should have been overcome for many years now. There are still many injustices present in this world, still many unjustified errors and mistakes made by those at the top of power and all this cannot be remedied. But we can still do something for the future, we can start making the world a better place step by step right now.
I Have A Dream: Rita
I have a dream that one day I want it to come true
I have a dream that one day I can become someone of fundamental importance
I have a dream that one day everyone will know my name
I have a dream that one day my parents will be proud of me
I have a dream that I can make all the people around me happy
I have a dream that one day we will break down all the discriminating barriers and that we
will embrace each other regardless of the color of the skin, sexual orientation, nor to someone’s social class.
I have a dream of meeting someone I love and stay with me all my life
I have a dream of building a family, like mine
I have a day dream to give birth to little babies, who will call me “m