I Have a Dream for Belize Print E-mail
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Written by Dale McDougal   
Thursday, 27 February 2014 00:00

The historic and poignant “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. beckons all Belizeans to enact the change we deserve. We have been called to build, to uplift, and to drive towards social, political and national development. The national psyche can no longer rest on complacency and mere reaction. We are now pressed to be proactive in our approach in the realization of all our endeavors.

I have a dream that Belize will be the country most recognized for its understanding of the spirit of community. My dream for Belize includes using our hands and hearts to appreciate the rich, aesthetic beauty that we have cherished for so many decades.  The beauty I speak of lies in the canopies of the Chiquibul Forest, the majestic Barrier Reef and in communities where we leave our doors unlocked and shared rice and beans with our neighbors and the occasional stranger.

Dr. King’s message – 50 years on – reminds us of the “promissory note” to which we are heir; everyone “would be guaranteed unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I have a dream of a Belize where we support each other despite the differences in ethnicity, gender, age, creed, political ideologies and sexuality. Indeed, weighing diverse views through collective bargaining has made Belize’s democracy more dynamic; however, not just because someone prefers one political party over another they should be victimized. They need not be discriminated against because they are Jehovah’s Witnesses, nor should they suffer violence because sexual orientation.
I dream of a Belize where the quest for national happiness is hinged on social conscientiousness, tolerance, understanding and unending love and compassion. My dream for Belize is not some fancifully utopian prospect; it is something well within our reach. And that journey begins now!

(Editor's Note: Dale McDougal's "I Have a Dream for Belize" was an entry into a U.S. Embassy competition based on Martin Luther King's original speech delivered in 1968 and Belizean writers were called to write their own dreams for the country.

This entry won 3rd place. This competition had more than 50 entries according to the Embassy.)