That’s really what I think, and I suppose what worries me as well.
The problem is not that students don’t dream – they do. The problem is
that students too often fail to dream big. If you are going to dream,
why waste it on something small?
I’m not sure students are to blame for this. I suspect this is
something we, their parents and teachers have done to them. Our intent
was to protect them from hurt. We forgot there are things far worse
So my advice to students (and that includes my 20-year-old daughter)
is this: Find the biggest, coolest most audacious dream you can and own
it. Make that crazy dream yours and go get it.
Your parents will worry, your teachers will patiently explain how
hard it is, and you can just smile knowingly. You will understand that
the dream, your dream, is not the place where you end up, but the road
you will spend your life traveling. You’ll understand that while
everyone falls down, dreamers always get up and that disappointment, as
uncomfortable as it is sometimes, is not nearly as uncomfortable as
never having reached.
Of course, he’s borrowing fromTeddy Roosevelt, but really. If I had to give a graduation speech (can you imagine?) this is pretty much what I’d say.
We spend so much time figuring out what we can have and wanting that, instead of figuring out what we want and how to get it, and it may be reasonable in some circumstances. I am never going to be an astronaut or a figure skater, I and my claustrophobia and my weak ankles have accepted this. I also know that when I was little had I been willing to spend hour upon hour upon hour either studying science or practicing skating, I might be an astronaut or a figure skater today.
Dreaming’s the wrong word, implying as it does airy-fairy staring into space waiting for your cosmic prince to come without DOING anything yourself, maybe wanting’s better. Want something.