Dreams Birthe New Ideas
When I was little I had a nightgown with the text: ‘Let’s share our dreams’ on it. Those words were printed underneath a drawing of two of those droopy-faced dogs that look like they’re always on the verge of falling asleep. To me that sentence means a lot more than seeing the images inside two single cartoon dream bubbles interact. I feel it also entails more than two individuals sleeping really close to each other or creating a life together. To me ‘sharing our dreams’ means caring enough about someone else’s dream to make it your own. At the same time it means recognizing that the fulfillment of another person’s dream is never separate from the realization of your own desires.
Whether or not our parents gave us sleeping garments with silly-looking dogs on them, we all grow up knowing what dreams are. All of us have hopes and wishes for our future. Seeing your desires take form can be amazing and it’s something all of us deserve to experience. Yet even staring the manifestation of your dream in the face is relative in the grand scheme of things.
Lately I find my focus is drifting away from the things I’ve been wanting to accomplish for relatively personal gain. Instead, it’s moving in the direction of how my own dreams can play a part in making other people’s dreams come true. When a person reaches a certain degree of alignment, the things they want to achieve in life are no accident. When we are tuned in, our desires for our own lives are perfectly interlinked with other people’s desires. Ultimately, they are all part of the fabric that makes up the common good.
These appear to be fruitful times for new ideas to occur to people. Our current society is showing us plenty of examples of situations we don’t wish upon anybody. As a result, our dreams for a brighter future are throwing more ideas at us regarding how to see them into realization. The positive thing about being amidst things like poverty, violence or a less than satisfactory political climate, is that through looking for change, we come to discover that a lot of our dreams are very similar. They may take on different specific forms but they mostly come down to wanting to experience a degree of peace, well-being and abundance.
One of the easiest ways to get to any of those places is to help other people reach their desires. We can get a little stuck at times trying too hard to make our life all we want it to be. When we help somebody else with their project, our focus is not on any sort of personal gratification so we can relax and just enjoy the experience. The paradox is that we do often end up feeling rewarded cause there is nothing like witnessing other people’s joy when they see their dreams take shape. This feeling is only enhanced when we’re able to play a part in things working out for them.
There is no such thing as being in it only for yourself. When one person genuinely benefits, so do the rest of us. What we call our individual lives are a bit like the wooden blocks kids build towers with. When one of them is feeling wonky, whole sections of the structure collapse. Things get exciting when our individual aspirations find enough overlap to start communal projects. The abundant sprouting of initiatives like sustainable living projects clearly show just how much of what people want is in the same direction. It also demonstrates how others can benefit from what we bring into the world.
But we don’t necessarily have to come up with an elaborate planet-saving scheme right off the bat. Any impulse that includes other people’s dreams in your personal interests is a movement in the direction of a world that equally values everyone’s prosperity. Dreams will then feel more like fun challenges rather than unattainable fantasies. That is when they regain the playful aspect we see in them when we are still kids.
In my own life, I’m looking into ways for some art projects I have in mind to help support the funding of assistance to underprivileged children. That to me would be an example of seeing my own dreams become a vehicle for someone else’s, in whatever big or small way. While that is all still in the brainstorming stages I’m bridging the gap between here and there by making my neighbor’s kids smile on occasion. Fortunately they’re not in a position of needing me to be of any help to them but they don’t have anything against me baking them a banana bread when I feel the urge to.