What we dream of as children
When we were children, we believed that we could become everything we wanted to be when we grow up. Some of us dreamed of becoming teachers, some wanted to be nurses, astronauts, vets, scientists, super-stars, artists and some simply wanted to have a fairy tale wedding to a prince. We also display many characteristics and skills during our childhood that would perfectly fit the chosen dream. But woe! Then the adults hear about our dreams. They laugh, they say we should be more sensible, esp. when our dream is something like becoming a singer, a violinist, a writer, a painter or an actor/actress. For us as children, however, our dreams are what makes us smile, hope and look forward to becoming a grown-up. For a while, maybe even for years, we hold on to our dreams, esp. if we have role models who live our dreams.
A lot of criticism for children
Children get scolded a lot. They are told not to daydream too much, to focus on their maths, to look at that banker behind the counter and what a great job he has and how much money he earns. We are told what proper people are and what proper people do for jobs. We also get ideas about what kind of partner we should have in our life, what friends we should have and what kind of activities we should or shouldn’t do. If we spend too much time with something that doesn’t get the approval of our parents or teachers, then we are told to not waste time etc. Some characteristics are also criticised. Did you hear something like “Don’t ask that many questions?” or “Your imagination is running wild.” when you were a child and were told to shut up and be more realistic? Many children have to live with such exclamations and for many children it can be quite heart-breaking. Many children are also told off for telling the truth and soon learn the art of hiding the truth behind the sweet words that people would like to hear.
What the adults in our childhood believe and make us believe, too
Adults that surrounded us during our childhood don’t see much potential in those creative, fun jobs we dream of as children because only people like Madonna, Michael Jackson, Hugh Jackman, Vanessa Mae and Stephen King can make money with their art. What they tend to overlook is that even someone like J.R.R. Tolkien (the fantastic writer and also fantastic human who wrote “Lord of the Rings” and other great stories) had to start from scratch. Stephen King received many rejection letters. No one believed that Michael Jackson’s dream of becoming the best selling artist of his time would come true. Adults seem to believe the success of those people comes out of nowhere.
Michael Jackson and his bathroom mirror
But let me tell you a story about a talented young man, his dream and his persistence. We all know a lot about Michael Jackson and I might know a bit more than you because I’ve read as much as I could about him since I was eight years old. I have my truth about him – you might have yours. Let’s not discuss that. What’s a fact is that Michael sold millions and millions of CDs. What many people do not know, however, is that he wanted to sell those millions and millions of records. When he was a young man, he used to write his goal on his bathroom mirror after the steam from his shower turned the mirror into a space for his creativity. Every time, steam hit the mirror again, the words appeared and every time he wrote them again. He believed in his dream, he wanted to achieve his dream but he also knew he’d have to work hard for it. And we all know that he worked hard all his life. Too hard maybe. But his life is an example that you can achieve your goals.
We have to dream again
Unfortunately, many of us let go of childhood dreams and dream jobs. We try to become something we are not, simply because we were told that we should be more realistic and that we should follow a respectable career path, e.g. become a banker. Even working behind a supermarket checkout seemed to be more respectable for some adults that trying to become a singer or a writer. Still most adults who criticise their children enjoy movies, books, music etc. They seem to forget that books don’t write themselves, songs don’t compose themselves, movies don’t fill themselves with the right actors on their own and so on. Someone is behind all of that. Someone who started out with a dream and who didn’t let other people stop him or her. Each of us has the potential to be someone like that. We all have the seed that can turn us into a star in our own field, be it literature, modern art, sculpture, carving, acting, singing, managing, accounting etc. We just have to dream again and then work hard.