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Tell 'em to Dream, Son

Posted by Valerie Ling on November 18, 2019 at 1:35 AM


A casual lunch conversation where I reflected on a tendency for us to tell young people not to expect to have some burning passion or dream. Perhaps it is a way of us trying to protect a generation who has lived through the disappointment of governments, profound political upheaval and higher levels of family disruption than ever before from further disappointment. The disappointment of dreams not coming true.

 

Except that...

 

Every great movement, discovery, revolutionary change came from a dream.

 

The biggest issues in why work becomes a drudgery comes from an inability to meaningfully connect with what we are doing, and a myopic view of how what we are doing is making an iota of difference.

 

You can't have a sense of a mission without a dream.

 

You can't have a growing vision without a dream.

 

You can't grow without a dream.

 

Am I suggesting we tell our sons and daughters to aspire to Branson, Winfrey and Obama?

 

Maybe. If that's what seems to occupy their dashboard.

 

What I mean is, if your child is like Alex Keaton (this will date your vintage) they've probably debated you from out of the womb, took on every slippery angle they could find, debated their way through school, took on councils and elections in tertiary school, and wanted to study Political Science as soon as they could. "Where's the money in that son?"

 

Too often that is the conversation we land up having.

 

But...what if...

 

We watched their interests, no matter how diverse. What if we engaged with what consumes their waking moments. Things that fire up creativity. Things that wound their social conscience. Things that give them a sense of order.

 

What if...

 

We explored the opportunities to broaden those inclinations. Books, movies, hobbies, conversations, classes, tinkering away at developing not only interest, but knowledge, skills.

 

What if..

 

We hung back when they encountered adversity. Setbacks. Mistakes. Clarifying of whether this was something that they would keep looking at. And we said "get up, try again" instead of "I told you so".

 

Perhaps...

 

A dream can form with the basis of reality and experience, and would not necessarily be something they needed to wake up from. Instead they had a map of possibilities to figure out options, pathways and expressions - of what drives them, inspires them, and ultimately brings meaning for them.

 

That's got to be worth something? That's got to be what dreaming is about.


 

 

 

See Below: My first video in the series on why burnout is so prevalent!

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