Friday, December 21, 2012
Dream Dreams but...
Life is often like walking a tightrope: needing to dream and at the same time needing to keep our feet firmly on the ground to escape unhappiness--if we are to keep our ideals and reality in the proper perspective. If we only go in search of our ideals, there is a chance they will disappear, and if the present reality is all we trust, there is no guarantee we will always possess it.
There are many that dream big: they will change the world, become rich, a great scientist... these dreams help in achieving one's goals. However, many will run up against reality, and have to deflate the dreams to make them more realistic.
In life, we have success and failures. New beginnings, new efforts making new dreams, practicing becoming more of what we should be. The efforts are tiring but they also add to the beauty of life. If before the wall of reality is encountered, we feel frustrated and give up, not giving it our best, we are not searching for our ideals. Even if we fail we need to search and try our best to achieve our ideals.
The desk columnist of the Catholic Times gives us the example of a taxi driver who envied all those he saw who were successful; he wanted to get into the business world but because of poverty began driving a taxi to support his family. He expressed this feeling of disappointed to a passenger who looked prosperous. The passenger told him to leave what he was doing and begin to work to achieve his dream. The taxi driver told him that was impossible because of the needs of his family. The passenger told the driver that he should not demean what he was doing, that there were people who would gladly exchange their jobs for his. But if he wanted to quit his job, he should search for another dream and make plans systematically to achieve it.
When one is dissatisfied by what he is doing the dream is usually missing. Dreams are what motivates us. But when we distort and stubbornly cling to our unrealistic dreams we may be running away from reality and sinking into shame, says the columnist. We have to be prepared to jettison unrealistic dreams.
For a Christian, following Jesus is both our ideal and our reality. We trust and rely on him; we do not use the yardstick given to us by the the world. Jesus' way is not always what we would like, but it is the way we need to go. He told us not to be afraid and to trust.
The columnist ends by telling us that it is necessary to dream. Without dreams, we are going to be miserable. If we do not know where we want to go, how can we find strength. We will have to decide on how this is going to be expressed in our lives. What is important is not to give up, to have passion, and to make the effort.