Monday, July 12, 2010

Dream Big

August 1963, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famed “I have a dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. In this speech he exalted “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” These were lofty dreams no doubt, but they were dreams he was willing to sacrifice to see come true.

I have big dreams myself. In my opinion if you’re going to dream you might as well dream big. My dream; that the children of Romania be given a chance to have their own dreams. What a copout right? Maybe. Maybe not. Can you really dream of a dream? Maybe I should explain.

Do you remember your childhood dreams? Maybe you still have those dreams. As a child maybe you dreamed of being an actress, doctor, lawyer, or firefighter. There was a time my daughter wanted to be a princes. In my opinion she already was! However, if that’s really what she wants to be then I would do anything I could to help her be a princess. There is something to be cherished about the freedom to dream big. As American’s we sometimes take for granted the freedom to dream big. Even more than that, we take for granted to resources available to actually make these dreams come true.

Through my years of mission work and worldly travels I have often wondered what a child living in a one room shack with dirt floors and nine other siblings could possibly dream about at night. Was it to be a doctor or a lawyer? Maybe she dreamed of being a princess. More than likely she dreamed of a world without pain and suffering; an opportunity to just be a kid. Her dream might be as simple as a new pair of shoes. Maybe her dream is for a new dress. Maybe it’s just for a warm meal or a bed of her own on top of a freshly tiled floor that is covered with a roof that does not leak. We might consider her dreams simple. I assume she would disagree.

In 1943 psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed a theory of Human Motivation. His thesis was that before a person could seek to fulfill “higher” needs they must meet their most basic needs. This theory has never been more true than in the life of an at-risk child. After all, how can an eights year old that sleeps on a twin bed with six siblings dream of anything but basic necessities?

I have a dream. A dream that one day all children will receive the freedom to dream big. My dream is that they will one day be able to dream of being a prince or a princess not what they will each for breakfast the next morning. So how do we make this dream come true? More on this next week. Aspire to new heights (heights for yourself and heights for others).

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