14 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY January 18-24, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com Dreaming Big Martin Luther King, Jr. sparked a generation of dreamers—it’s time for us to follow through. By Liyah Jacks FORUM Commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I shared this powerful quote of his: “If you cannot fly, then run. If you cannot run, then walk. If you cannot walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, keep moving.” It encapsulates King’s relentless pursuit of legal equality and human rights for all, transcending racial boundaries. King’s dream was profound—a world where individuals are judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. I then proceeded to ask the audience: “What’s your dream, and more importantly, what are you doing about it?” Dreams, without action, remain mere aspirations. King faced immense challenges, yet he persevered for desegregation, labor rights and voting rights. His journey wasn’t easy, but he pressed on, sacrificing for his dream. It’s a lesson for us all—dreams demand dedication, even in the face of adversity. Hope is a promise that anything is possible. Life might present challenges, but as King said, “Nobody really knows why they are alive until they know what they would die for.” Consider your purpose, whether the vision is clear or not. Start with small steps, and if you remain passionate and committed, you’re following your dream. Complacency is the enemy of progress. It’s not enough to desire change but retreat when faced with difficulties. It’s not enough to dream of making a difference but believe a title is necessary for impact. True change requires active involvement, like participating in community initiatives or attending city council meetings. King’s journey wasn’t smooth— he faced opposition, personal abuse, threats and imprisonment. Yet, he prevailed in achieving his goals. Similarly, your dream may encounter obstacles, but persistence is key. Reflect on what King endured for his dream and ask yourself: What are you doing to help others? How are you making a difference in your community? Your actions affect not only you but also those around you. Don’t keep your dream confined to drafts; bring it to life. Avoid the trap of complaining without actively contributing to solutions. Remember King’s motto, “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” Everyone possesses a unique gift that could contribute to making the world a better place, but silence inhibits progress. Remember, if you don’t build your dream, someone might hire you to build theirs. Start now, regardless of age or resources. “You never have to see the whole staircase; you just have to possess the faith to take the first step.” Similarly, your dreams may not be fully formed, but taking that initial step, no matter how small, is crucial. This is the season for not just conversation, but the action behind the speech: “The time is always right to do what is right.” Liyah Jacks is a 22-year-old college student from Seaside, California. She is studying journalism at Fresno City College and returned to Seaside to speak on Jan. 15, 2024 at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day march. The story above is excerpted from her remarks. OPINION Complacency is the enemy of progress. Prevention, Education, Treatment & Recovery serving youth, adults and families in Monterey County, San Benito County & San Luis Obispo County Recognize the signs and learn to take action when a drug-related overdose happens. Support youth prevention services www.SunStreetCenters.org Fentanyl is the single deadliest drug impacting youth and families. We Speak German… CARS! Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen and Mini-Cooper Using current modern technology our experienced staff will diagnose, maintain and repair your German car. Certified Monterey Bay Green Business 373.5355 249 DelaVina, Monterey www.ccrepairmonterey.com Pacific Grove Hardware 229 Forest Avenue • 646-9144 Locally Owned and Operated OPEN DAILY 8am-5pm Your Hometown Hardware Store take $5 OFF ANY $25 or more regular items With this ad. Exp 1/31/24 One discount per transaction BEST Hardware Store ’09-’23