The Importance of Dreaming
I have always had a "problem" with daydreaming. In fact, I daydreamed so much as a kid, that when I was given instructions by my mother or my mother's best friend, they knew that in order to get results, they would need to have me repeat the instructions they just gave me. It wasn't because I wasn't thinking, it was because I was thinking too much. I've been thinking a lot about dreaming lately and started drawing conclusions about it's effectiveness and ineffectiveness. I have realized that dreaming is ridiculously important. Not the kind of dreaming you do after you have eaten some crazy pizza before bed, but the kind of dreaming you do as a kid when you are imagining your life, or the kind of dream that you get lost in when you hear about a problem and your mind begins to follow down the path of "what if's", and "what could be's".
There have been a lot of dreamers in history who have done incredible things for the world. One of the obvious examples being Martin Luther King Jr. and his famous speech " I Have A Dream". Martin Luther King Jr. saw something in his heart and in his imagination. While it may have seemed impossible, he pursued it. He stood in the gap between reality and "the dream". He spoke about it and worked towards it until, "the dream" had been pulled in to reality. His dream still isn't fully realized but we are so much closer to it than we were when he first gave that speech. What if he had kept it to himself? What if he hadn't dared to allow himself to dream such a big dream? Where would society be? What would the culture be? His dream was a catalyst to changing the culture around him. I propose that dreams are what is needed to begin the process of changing a problem in culture.
What Slavery does to Dreams
I watched a documentary late one night called "Common Dreams" where a famous hip hop artist by the name of Common went to discover the plight of Restavec children. These are children in Haiti who are sent to the city to work as slaves. He met one of these children and he asked her "What do you dream of becoming?" She replied "I don't have these kinds of dreams." Through reading and research I have come to understand that slavery and abuse steals dreams from the enslaved, but we have seen that dreaming can be a tremendous tool in crushing slavery. I believe that when someone is enslaved it is difficult for them to see a future and too painful to dream of one, when it seems so impossible.
What Our Dreams Can Do To Slavery
Do you dream of a world without slavery? Do you dream of a world where all human beings are afforded respect and dignity? Do you dream of a world where people are not sold as products? What would that look like? When reading over Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech I realized he didn't just say that he had a dream. He painted the picture of exactly what it would look like. He took the dream and created a picture. He inspired others to see that picture and to not give up until their reality matched the picture he painted with his dream. We need to revive the power of dreams. Let's dream for those that can't. Let's dream for those that don't even know how to dream. Slavery may steal dreams but our dreams can crush slavery.
Steps To Bringing Your Dreams Into Reality
1) Give yourself permission to dream. If you have ever been told to get your head out of the clouds, I am telling you now to get your thoughts back up there. Be lofty! Go big! Don't be afraid of not realizing them. The biggest regret you will ever have is not trying.
2) Write down your dreams. Paint a picture the way that Martin Luther King Jr. did. What would the realization of your dreams look like?
3) Take a step towards bringing your dream from being up in the clouds to being a reality in your life and then repeat. A dream is a terrible thing to waste, because in them is the power to change the world, your culture, the lives of the people around you and your own life. Just do one thing this week. Send out a status that states what you are working towards. Write a blog. Buy a book on the subject.