Police chiefs can have dreams, too | February 1, 2013 | Pleasanton Weekly | PleasantonWeekly.com |


Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - February 1, 2013

Police chiefs can have dreams, too

Pleasanton Police Chief Dave Spiller, the keynote speaker at last Monday's YMCA tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., talked about the dreams he shares with the late civil rights leader. Dr. King's pursuit of equality was his dream. He pursued his dream, inspiring thousands who stood beside him with a shared dream, including Spiller. He pursued this dream and sought to create a new reality, "From Dreams to Action," the theme of this year's fellowship breakfast, the 13th annual tribute sponsored by the Tri-Valley Y.

"His actions were centered on the greatest examples of non-violence," Spiller said. "Dr. King acted on his dreams and inspired others, creating a spark that lit the fire of real change in our society. To dream is to have a vision, to imagine something you want, where you want to go, and who you want to be. To act is the work, the willful execution to make your dreams a reality. If you are going to dream, dream big, But, don't waste those dreams by failing to act on them."

Spiller continued:

"Dr. King acted on his dreams and inspired others, creating a spark that lit the fire of real change in our society. He rallied with tens of thousands and spoke to share his dream. But that gathering in 1963, so well known today, was not an end, but a beginning. He spoke of hope and his vision for a 'bright day of justice' to emerge. Like Dr. King, we should all look forward with excited eyes with a vision for all of our tomorrows.

"I think and wonder about the dreams, the dreams of many: the dreams of the leadership of the YMCA and the work they do to make a positive difference in our community. I think about the dreams of the amazing young men and women of the YMCA's Youth and Government program and their dreams to make a change, to make a difference, to make an impact on the world and the work they do in those pursuits. At the Police Department, we have a vision, too, and it's to serve our community with pride and professionalism as we focus on our responsibility of service.

"Youths are some of the best dreamers. The purity and wholesomeness that lies in children creates an ability for the greatest creativity and limitless imagination. Encouraging the spirit to dream and the pursuit of that creativity is what we should all want.

"There is a saying that I use: We are who we are because of everything we have been through. It makes me think of so many of us busy, over programmed adults. Before we became cynical from the influences of our world, before we developed the filters that hamper our own free spirit and creativity, we dreamed like children. We should celebrate and seek to embrace the dreams of young people. When they share these dreams with us we should encourage the pursuit of these dreams and help, when we can, and encourage young people to work to make their dreams come true.

"Do we dream of being smart? It doesn't come without the work, the study, the quest to explore what surrounds us. Do we dream of being fit? It doesn't come without the work, the exercise, the discipline, to take care of our bodies. Do we dream of being compassionate? It doesn't come without the work, the care and concern for others, the ability to empathize with others, to understand others.

"What are your dreams? What do you want for your world? What do you want for your community? What do you want for your organizations? What do you want for your family, your friends? What do you want for yourself? With all of these questions, you must ask: What am I willing to do? What action am I willing to take to make my dreams come true? As Dr. King did, what we want, what we think of is the dream. What we do about it, that is the action that we are talking about today. When I think about dreams and actions, I think of Dr. King and others like Mahatma Gandhi, Henry Ford, Walt Disney, men, who like Dr. King, took their dreams and turned them into reality through action."