What better time to think about a eulogy than on MLK day?

Famous eulogies! Some eulogies are so memorable that they are forever etched into our minds and into history. Others will quickly be forgotten. Perhaps the most famous “funeral” oration of all time was not given at a funeral. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech” was about what Dr. King wanted said at his funeral. He had a premonition of his own death and drafted this speech as a sort of pre-eulogy that he delivered himself. It is surely one of the most moving and memorable speeches of all time. Today on his birthday, it is more than fitting to look at his words and to reflect on their meaning:

“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow. I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.”

You may find the entire speech at: http://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/mlk_speech.htm

Martin Luther King’s speech might inspire some of us to write our own eulogies. The point of creating your eulogy is not about becoming famous, it is about reflecting on the life you want to live. Someone said that dreams become goals only when you put a date on them. Well, hopes and wishes can become real too but only when you put them out as intentions and desires. If you want to be the person in your dreams you will have to form the intention to be that person. When someone else is giving your eulogy it will be too late.

If you have never written your eulogy or even if you have written it, go back and look it over again. Think about these questions again: What do I really want said about me when I die? What do I want people to remember me for? What would I say about myself if I gave my own eulogy speech today? What is memorable about my life that I would like history to remember me for? Now make a schedule to write your eulogy. When you have written it, the question to ask is “Can I live up to this?” If not, how do you need to change your life and when will you start with these changes? Martin Luther King would be proud of each of us today if we started living the dream that he proposed for humanity and America.

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