So today at work I got the opportunity to give a flu shot to a 14 year old black kid. Could have been me. Except he was “cool” at an age where I was knee deep in books and back street games of basketball; girls were a land that I longed to visit but had no idea how to get to.
Anyway while prepping him for a flu shot I got the chance to talk with him.
Of course, with my preoccupation with dreams, I asked him what he wanted to be. His reply which I don’t fault him for was “A pro” ..”Pro-what?” I asked. “Professional Football player.” ..Now I didn’t want to down his dream, and Lord knows that dreams are individual so who am I to impose my expectations on him. But it made me think. At his age, I think I wanted to be a rapper. Yep..I’m pretty sure. A rapper. I might still want to be one, depending on whether a good beat is in my presence. Anyway. It made me think about the life-cycle and strength of dreams.
When your young..your dreams seem right around the corner, just about to be realized. If you just work a couple more months, or a couple years at the max..we’re all sure that we’ll be discovered, found, appreciated and thrown onto the world stage. As you age..If your dreams aren’t broad enough to find a connection to your real world it can be easy to get discouraged.
I think that parents have the all-important job of feeding and broadening our dreams. Especially if a child has a dream that is super-specific and or super-difficult to achieve. If I can’t look at my current situation and see the seeds of a dream then, I think life can feel purposeless. With a dream to serve as the fuel and the map, life is more of an adventure and less of the completion of a checklist.
If I had money like Oparah..I’d take all the children I could around the world and introduce them to all the fabulous people doing fabulous things. I’d also show them the kids who were less well off…let them know that’s its their responsibility to their particular gifts and talents/God to become the best version of themselves that they can.
Btw: The Roots album is the truth!
http://www.npr.org/2011/11/28/142873013/first-listen-the-roots-undun <— First Listen (Do yourself a favor!)