This just hit me yesterday as I was reading a script which contained one of Dr. King's speeches. We have NOT achieved his dream. Yes, the American President is African-American but that fact reveals the true depth of hate that still remains in this country. What we have achieved in most circles is complacency. Yes we get along with all races but what about the people we can't see. What about states like Mississippi(mentioned in the "I Have a Dream Speech") who just recently took the large step of "officially" abolishing slavery last week(true story).
As much as has been done, we're still NOT done with this! Black History is American History and I would be persuaded otherwise. So,until this big dream is achieved I think I'll march on! Who's in?!? This country can't even begin to think of immigration reform when it can not reform the centuries of racism and institutionalization of the offspring of the slaves unjustly brought to this country. The drum major's footsteps are mere footprints today,but the march continue. "Until justice rolls down like water..." as he quoted the Prophet Amos...there are many "until"s. Until we see them all achieved,then we can retire from the march. Then and only then..
Over the past week, I became entangled with a thought...have I given up on my dreams? Truth is, I was desperately close. I still play, sing and own music instruments and recording equipment but am I really still pursuing my dream of music?
With college courses completed, academic accolades aptly emblazoned on my resume, everything points to a pursuit, but of what? Sitting in HR, the career of music is misinterpreted as a hobby by unsuspecting hiring managers. Did I really commute to college an hour each way for a hobby or was in pursuit of something?
Life will ask these questions and at the same time demand answers from you! So I had to fess up and admit that I'd given up. I've been in the presence of almost anyone a gospel musician/artist would ever want to meet. What's more important, is I've met the people who can connect me to the rest of the people I've never met. I mean, I could even score a phone call in place of a timeless picture together.
So why have I somehow settled into the "crowd"? There are a number of reasons, too many to list and explain here. The road on the pursuit of a dream is lonely. The nights are long,fiends are few, and opposition knows no bounds. Beyond self doubt, doubters and the run of the mill "haters", the pursuit of a dream requires thick skin. What "they" never tell you is that you need many layers of "thick skin". Otherwise you will become consumed by the weight of the pursuit.
I am writing this here on my site and not in either of my online columns. See, I've accomplished alot, but still not the goal! Do columnists get discouraged. Yep! Top 20 artists on Reverbnation in their home area,do they get discouraged too? Yep. What about musicians who have travelled internationally and toured across 5 European countries,do they get discouraged? Sure WE do! We get sidetracked and plain and simple...beat down!
I don't want to go to every musical in the metroplex,nor do I want to go to every guild meeting(announcer/musician) just to "network". My home life dictates that I come straight home right after work. A fortunate night is a night where I can look again at my dreams soberly and say "yes I still can!"
So...how do I believe in my dreams again? Don't I need to revamp them since I'll be 30 next week? Aren't I smart enough to somehow find a back road into the music industry or can't I just dig in and look the music industry in the eye and announce my imminent arrival?
In "The Wiz" Dorothy encountered Glinda the good witch. Glinda sang to Dorothy and even kind of preached a little bit. Glinda said, "believe in yourself like I believe in you!" The awesome part about this statement is that Dorothy was vulnerable enough to make known what her dream was-getting home. Her friends also made known their wishes,this led them on the whirlwind adventure to meet The Wiz.
Turns out The Wiz had some insecurities of his own,even though this fearsome foursome sought him out as their ticket to the fulfilment of their wishes. The music/entertainment industry is much like The Wiz himself,complete yet imperfect.
So with that being said...I have dared to believe in my dreams again! There are notebooks flooded with songs and ministry ideas compiled in America and Europe. It's time to give life to mere words on pages. I dared to believe in my dreams again...
Fred Willis is a modern day renaissance man. His focus is on his family and the call on his life. As a musician, his desire is to communicate thoughts,ideas and passion through music. As a writer, Fred expresses fresh ideas and broadcasts a new perspective often overlooked in mass media.