Although Mavis was sat on the most comfortable chair in the room, she leant forward and shifted uneasily as she clutched a piece of paper between her shaking hands.
“I haven’t got much to say. Mine’s only going to take ten minutes.” she warned us, as time dictated that it was her turn to speak. Three of us from our small church house group had been asked to talk on a particular subject that night. Mavis, having heard the first two people, felt a little intimidated and now, wasn’t sure how her dialogue was going to be received.
As she began, a clear, expressive voice arose from the nerves and she instantly captured our attention. Looking at her, you wouldn’t believe she’d just turned eighty. Here was a lady, proud to be a grandmother and very proud indeed of her grandson Caleb, who had recently written an article for a school competition. She was suddenly like a young mum who had just sat down to watch her child perform the lead role in the school play.
Well, she was right about one thing, her talk didn’t last ten minutes. But that’s where the agreement ended. Not got lots to say? The words that came out of her mouth in that short space of time, had us moved to tears and rendered silent. This fifteen year old boy had written one of the finest speeches we’d ever heard. The competition was in memory of Dr Martin Luther King and as the pupils were urged to remember his “I have a dream.” speech, they were encouraged to write one of their own.
Needless to say, Caleb won the competition and when you read below, you’ll understand why:
I Have A Dream
I have a dream that one day people will be truly recognised for their talents, whether they be academic skills, cooking, sporting ability, or art.
I want the society we live in and the education system to truly acknowledge the amazing skills that people have, without valuing certain qualities over others.
All people are talented in some way or another and they should not be judged or treated worse than others if their talent is different to others. People should never have to feel bad about themselves because they believe they are not good at anything; they just need to find what the are good at.
Everybody is a genius in their own way and everyone is incredible at something. We need to look at people’s skills, like a fish being able to swim or a monkey being able to climb trees, and not judge them on what they cannot do.
I want people to be able to live each day fully aware of their own capabilities, appreciating their own value whilst being able to value others.
We are all amazing. – we simply need to believe it.
© Caleb Devonport