“Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.”
— E.Y. Harburg & Harold Arlen
So many of us grew up listening to Judy Garland sing “Over the Rainbow” in the classic film The Wizard of Oz. Her character, Dorothy, was dreaming of a better world, a land where bluebirds fly and dreams come true. We took those words to heart, we children of the 1960s and 1970s who marched for freedom, peace, and human rights in the U.S. and around the globe. Individuals across time have believed in that better world and worked tirelessly for a vision they held in their hearts as possibility. Because of them, the world we live in now is very different than it once was. No, it is not perfect; racism, sexism, homophobia, and the violence that accompanies them still exist. But things have changed, and we are continuing to evolve toward that vision, more and more rapidly.
Case in point: The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision for national marriage equality (supported by a majority of Americans) seemed to be nothing short of a miracle. After so many years of extreme hatred, ridicule, and cruelty directed at lesbians and gay men, the shift in public consciousness in a relatively short period of time was almost unbelievable. I couldn’t help but feel that if entrenched attitudes like those could change (and still are changing), then anything is possible…. President Obama voicing support for the rights of the LGBT community in a televised speech…. Rainbow lights on the White House. Indeed, rainbow lights appeared across the country in support of this opening to a greater love and acceptance for all people. From San Francisco City Hall to Niagara Falls, rainbows lit up the night, showing the world that anything is possible. To me, that is the deeper meaning of marriage equality—to dramatically demonstrate that the time has come to embrace everyone for who they really are at heart: unique, unrepeatable souls here to live authentic lives, full out and freely. At this key transformative time on the planet, that truth is taking hold with growing power.
So if marriage equality can occur, what else is possible? World peace? Social justice and economic parity? Universal love? Why not? We get to the possible by courageously and lovingly living the impossible. Imagine a better world and live in it. Treat your neighbors with kindness and generosity. Treat Mother Earth and her children with gentleness and reverence. Love your friends and family as sweet reflections of life’s beauty, and remember that everyone you meet is family. Live as if you only had one hour left on this planet. Would you waste it with complaints, judgments, and hatred? Or would you appreciate every moment (every person, every tree, every animal) as precious and sacred—a miracle to be celebrated and treasured?
We have been conditioned to believe that suffering is inevitable, that change is impossible, that utopian dreams are unrealistic. But Dorothy always sang a different tune, and we never forgot it. “Over the Rainbow” is the iconic song of remembrance and inspiration for all of us. “Dare to dream” and the world opens up before you. Live your dream into life with every breath you take. Over the rainbow is here now, right in front of our eyes. That multicolored rainbow—magical symbol of diversity and possibility—still inspires us all to never stop dreaming. Anything is possible!