An old friend of mine who is a high school English teacher was recently telling me a story of a group of young kids visiting her high school classroom.
The scenario is typical of what you’re picturing. The preschool takes a field trip to the high school, meet some older kids, get read to by the older students and the ones they hope to one day grow up to be like. We’ve all be there!
At one point in this story, one of the students went up to my friend and asked, “Where are your games and colors?” Interesting question, no?
What if back in preschool you knew that the fun and games would soon be ending and you’d be spending the rest of your school days reading thick text books and being tested on the words in them, instead of what they are inspiring you to do. You would have quit on the spot! I know I would have. What is a world without creativity? Or imagination? Or that simple thing we all take for granted: colors!
We are creative, innovative, imaginative creatures and we must use these brain functions to survive and color our own world around us. So, grab your crayons, markers, colored pencils or paint brushes, and join me!
(Flickr photo by mel810)
Someone said (either Victor Hugo or Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, depending upon where you look online) that small dreams aren’t worth dreaming because they have no ability to stir the hearts of others.
Dreams (the kind you have when you’re awake) are fun. You (usually) have no limits. Like a golf cart with the governor removed, why not see how fast you can take it out for a spin? Imagine – with no restrictions, rules, possibilities or barriers, what could you do?
In daydreams, cats can talk, gravity disappears and our critics are silenced. In daydreams, we’re a lot taller, our bank account is a lot bigger, and we seem to know all of the right people. And why shouldn’t we? It’s our dream, for crying out loud. We’re the author of this fairy tale, free to write and then edit as we choose.
In fact, if you have a daydream where you fail, flounder or give up, I encourage you to seek professional help.
Henry David Thoreau reminded us that we build our castles in the air, and rightly so. He then challenged us to go and build a foundation under them.
And perhaps that’s what is so tricky and daunting about dreaming big dreams. At one point, we have to back up, wake up to our present reality and go to work. We have to get our hands dirty, our feet wet and our muscles tired in order to do the hard work of turning our dream into a reality.
Dreaming is fun and encouraging because it’s so easy. Working and toiling to make that dream come true is not as fun. Sometimes, it’s downright awful. It sucks, it’s boring and very quickly, we can give up the big dream for a small one – one that seems more manageable and keeps us sane.
That’s why so many dreams stay small and why big dreams don’t come true and stop getting dreamt. It’s not because big dreams don’t come true; it’s because real action never follows.
So then, the first step towards real change is perhaps the easiest. As Robert Greenleaf so eloquently said, “Not much happens without a dream. And for something great to happen, there must be a great dream. Behind every great achievement is a dreamer of great dreams. Much more than a dreamer is required to bring it to reality; but the dream must be there first.”
And so the dream is dreamt. Step one is complete.
But what about step two? Or three? Or four hundred? How does that happen? How can those of us – regardless of the size of our dream – help those dreamers of great dreams see their great dreams actualized? Is there any role or part that we can play in the great, wild dreams of others?
Absolutely. Because dreams come true, one step at a time.
While our dreams start big, their actualization comes in very small steps. This is why I set out to create Cool People Care three short years ago. Providing one idea each weekday, we use the power of 99 words (exactly) to inspire, compel and motivate you to take the small steps towards your big dreams.
We really can save the world. Sure, it’s a big dream. That only means we need to get work, five minutes at a time.
Join our One Stream team at Kiva to change the world!
I’ve been wanting to read, Three Cups of Tea since I picked it up last Christmas and I finally was able to work it into my schedule and I’m glad I did.
Tea is written by Greg Mortenson (the guy who the book is about) and David Oliver Relin, and the story begins when Mortenson was a child and how his family lived around the world and it is these travels and these experiences that set Mortenson up for his future adventure that is changing the world.
The challenge of any man, of all people, is to leave the world a better place than they found it. In a twist of fate, after failing in his climb up K2, Mortenson ended up in a tiny village clinging to life. The people there in Korphe saved his life. Upon his departure, he made a promise that would save both of theirs.
Mortenson made a promise upon his departure that he would come back and build a much needed school in Korphe. Korphe is in the northern portion of Pakistan, the part that bread the birth of Al-Qaeda. He journey is long and painful and with brief moments of sheer terror for the life of Mortenson.
Here (in Pakistan and Afghanistan), we drink three cups of tea to do business; the first you are a stranger, the second you become a friend, and third, you join our family, and for our family we are prepared to do anything–even die.
-Haji Ali, Korphe Village Chief, Karakoral Mountains, Pakistan
The is a read you won’t want to put down and will surely inspire you to want to pick up a hammer and build a school yourself.
Learn more about Three Cups of Tea.