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By Esih Efuru

I spent my eighth grade afternoons immersed in “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.” My eighth grade teacher, Ms. Lela Lynch, thought I would enjoy his story and loaned me her copy. Later, at night, I would dream of a life that was exciting enough to write about. I would even dare myself to dream that people would be interested in the stories my wonder years would yield. Like Malcolm, someone would be willing to hear about how I surfed through the inner city life and made it to the glorious zenith we call adulthood. Becoming a teacher that told stories was my street corner dream.

I was insane enough to believe that I had the ability and nerve to pull it off someday. As I entered college and majored in English, a few bad grades in expository and creative writing made me wonder if I needed to shift gears. Lucky for me, my writing turned its corner and I graduated with a personal recommendation from my department chair to intern for Alice Walker. The street corner dream took shape, and soon after, took off.

Our childhood dreams have the potential to manifest into the bliss that we often wish for. Those sparkling eyes that have the courage to reach for the stars don’t have to become dim. We have the power to keep them ablaze by folding love and confidence into each day of our lives, daring the world to meet our fervor. If we truly wish for it, it can happen. We are the only ones standing in the way of the outcome.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began his journey as a young man determined to fight for the civil rights of all human beings. He gave his life for the cause he believed in, and decreed on the last night of his life that his dream would manifest. He was courageous enough to predict that he wouldn’t see it, and determined enough in his faith to ensure that it would come to pass. Imagine if we were willing to lose our lives for the dreams that boil within us? How would the world be impacted if we dared to predict our futures and our successes? How different would your lives be right now?

Dream on as widely as you can. Give your passions and goals the star treatment and pour as much love as you can stomach into them. Write notes to yourself on the mirror, or record affirmations to yourself to play every day as you would an alarm. The energy you place into yourself and the things you wish to accomplish will determine the outcome. Dr. King devoted 100% of his energy to justice, and the universe still feels the impact. How big can you dream? How soon will you start?

Esih Efuru, a 44 year old writer, artist and minister, is raising a daughter in Charlotte, NC. Email her

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