When Dreams Die – What It Means for the Young and Old
I Tweeted a few days ago, “When Dreams Die, Do You?” I think the answer is yes or at least part of you dies.
I think as long as you have something to look forward to, every day, you’re better off than most. If you have dreams and/or aspirations that drive you, you’re interesting, dynamic, and engaged. Those dreams and aspirations are the force that lights you up, makes you a magnet pulling people towards you. Those dreams, and sometimes to those on the outside looking in, perhaps fantasies, are the fuel to fire the life in you. They are the reasons many get up and do what they do every day. Some fight the fight in the political arena. Some fight to eradicate hunger and poverty. Some fight against discrimination and prejudice. Some fight to protect children and women. Some fight to maintain their health. Some fight to retain their marriage. Some fight to keep their homes. Some fight to keep fit. Some fight to feed themselves and their families. Some fight just to fight. Most fight something daily, and when the realization of a lost battle sets in, and dreams and hopes are lost, what happens? I think we lose our edge. We start to fade, some even wishing to fade away quickly because it’s hard, really hard. And, if it’s hard for those of us that have worked and gained some success and financial stability which we too have to monitor and fret about, imagine the bleak picture for those just starting out. I cannot imagine. I think many, regardless of age, give up. Understood.
We have a populace of dashed dreams and hopes. We have an aging population with untold, under utilized skills that are considered useless. We have a current crop of potential workers, who for the most part, do not have the work ethic, feel entitled and, again in my opinion, do not understand the sayings “Do what needs to be done.”, “Whatever it takes.”, you get the idea. They have been coddled and helicopter parented to the point of absurdity. Society changed, the work environment drastically changed and they are out there, with no direction and not many skills.
Yet, foiled dreams are foiled dreams, regardless of age. It is said that a young person entering the workforce recently will change careers seven times in their lifetime (This article only encompasses through 2008, we know things have changed, and not for the better.) (Seven Careers in a Lifetime? Think Twice, Researchers Say - WSJ ... online.wsj.com/.../SB1000142405274870420680457546816280587...by Carl Bialik)
So, we have to keep reinventing ourselves over and over again. Get a dream, lose a dream, get a new dream, and start again. You can add to that the personal dynamics of keeping a family together, lost love, regrets, recriminations and all of the “If Only’s” and just the pressure of every day living. It’s rough.
I guess we need to continue to fight, live. I question how much we have to lose or fear losing, how many dreams we dream then abandon and how many times we can come back to fight yet again, just to stay even or behind even. Then I question why bother. Sometimes enough is more than enough. Sometimes when a dream dies it takes the core of you with it.
Our spirit forges us forward until it can’t, until we’re too tired and beat up, until there is no promise of something better, until we say, OK, I can’t do it, I give up.
Fortunately, for the most part, we don’t give up. We dream yet another dream and wake to fight another fight. That’s what I count on; it’s what I HAVE to believe in for myself and my country.