Courage to Dream
There is one thing that never fails to make me admire people.
The courage to dream.
It’s not necessarily the dream itself, because dreams are subjective and unlike a fair race, life puts everyone at a different starting point and therefore the extent of one’s dream differs based on that too. No, it is the courage that one possesses to acknowledge that even though they don’t yet have what they want to achieve in life, they are willing to see it come true through hard work and prayers.
I find people with dreams and passion to be admirable. It was what triggered my very first high school crush back in 2015. We were off on a school trip for a week and there always a bonfire every night. One night, we were talking about everything and nothing, until we started talking about college.
It really was a normal conversation between two people in high school trying to figure out where life was going to go, but there was something about what he said that stayed with me for the rest of high school, and perhaps even to this day, since I felt it impactful enough to want to write it.
I will keep what he said to myself for his sake, but this is what made me in awe: in a time where most high school boys only care about their reputation and climbing up the social ladder, in a time where I thought he was just the same as everybody, he shared the timeline that he’s set out for himself for the next few years. He told me why he wants to achieve what he wants to achieve, his admiration for his older sisters, and the countries he’d like to settle in for a few years to study.
It was the first time I met someone – a boy – my age (15) that not only had the courage to dream but also knew what he wanted to do in life.
I didn’t realize then that not everyone has the privilege to dream as we did.
I realize now that when you dare to dream, there must be a sense of security that it could come true. It’s not as ‘shooting for the sky’ as you might think it is. I wanted to go to school in Japan because I was raised to believe I could do it. I was raised knowing that the resources exist for me to study abroad. I had supportive parents. I have educated parents. These play a factor to a certain extent in my dreams.
I still have a dream now, bigger than the ones I had three years ago and taking so much more out of me than three years ago. Do I have confidence that at least some of it will come true? Yes. Whether things go the way I’m hoping to or not, I can imagine that I will still end up where I want to because of a number of things.
One, I know I’m not going to give up. Two, I know my family supports me 100%. Three, I have the blessing of getting a degree from a prestigious university in Japan. Four, I’m bilingual, perhaps even trilingual if I can stretch it. Five, I’m only twenty and time is in my favor. Six, et cetera, et cetera.
It was the same with him. The same as any of my friends who grew up in similar environments. We were privileged enough to have a big dream because we already started ahead. As special as it was, it was ‘less shooting at the sky’ and more ‘with a little push’ we’ll get there.
This realization came as a reality check to the judgmental me who used to look at people without big dreams and think, why?
Why so pessimistic? Why can’t you believe in yourself? Why, are you just not willing to put in the effort? Why, why, why?
It didn’t hit me until recently that people have different predilections to dreaming due to their backgrounds. Perhaps they were never raised to believe they can be anything they want. Perhaps they were raised to believe life is not all the way they made it out to be. Perhaps they never had the support they needed. Perhaps they just couldn’t afford to be idealistic because reality forced them to be otherwise.
I can’t blame anyone for this except their upbringing, but even then I can’t blame their environment too because there must be more to that story.
And, not everyone is a one in a million. It wouldn’t be called one in a million if that was the case. Not everyone manages through multiple sufferings, hell, and high water and come out unscathed. Not everyone is born with that impenetrable armor, and the likelihood is slim.
So this is another lesson for me to keep an open mind and be kinder to the people around me. I can only hope that for those who think they can’t live life the way they wish to who come across this post, I want you to at least try, okay?
I’m sorry that you came to this point thinking that you can’t. I’m not going to lie and say that it’s going to be a piece of cake, but please at least let me be the one to tell you that you can.
We might be running from a different starting line, but there is a huge chance that you’ll catch up, or perhaps catapult even further. I’ll be happy to see you shoot ahead. I’ll be happy to run after you and meet you on the limitless line. You got this.
So please, have the courage to dream. Let’s start here, at the very least.