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Tell Them About the Dream

Tell Them About the Dream

On the afternoon of August 28, 1963, with a quarter million people in attendance, Dr. Martin Luther King was working his way through the speech he’d composed with advisor Clarence Jones when everything changed. African-American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, sitting just a few yards to his left, shouted “Tell them about the dream, Martin!” Dr. King took note, paused, slid his notes on the podium to the side, and improvisationally launched into the speech that would help change the course of history.  

Tell them about the dream, Martin! Can you feel the chills running down your arm? The dream moved the dial. The dream fueled the continued (and still necessarily continuing) path forward. The dream! Not the statistics… or the history lessons… it was the dream – thanks in great part to Mahalia Jackson.

Who is your Mahalia Jackson? Who reminds you – amid collecting all the information, tracking all the data, checking the wind – to pause, push your pre-written notes to the side, and share your dream? Steve Magness, in his book Do Hard Things, shared an intriguing study about audible (vs. silent, internalized) self-talk. He explains there are times when verbalizing the personalized message out loud – can have a far greater impact than simply thinking that same thought to ourselves. We all have dreams. We frequently reference the value of creating a clear personal vision here in the Catalyst Community. But do we have that key individual, that Mahalia Jackson, in our lives, ready and willing to speak up above the crowds, reminding us to “tell them about the dream!”??

Maybe the first person who needs to hear your dream is… you. Maybe that dream that once shown bright has been tripped up, stuffed down deep, hidden from everyone – including ourselves. If that’s the case, allow me to be your Mahalia Jackson today, and encourage you – urge you – implore you – “tell them about the dream!”

The world may never be the same again…

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