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DREAMS FULFILLED, DREAMS DEFERRED, DREAMS REPACKAGED

By Lucie Lewis, Co-facilitator Central Team

Dreams have often been the subject of poets and authors down through the ages. We all started out having dreams – dreams of being a dancer, an artist, a teacher, a professional athlete, an actor, a writer, a magician, a musician, a scientist, or maybe an astronaut. Yes, we all started out with a dream, but time does funny things to dreams. This month, I was reminded of a dream long since forgotten. In the words of Langston Hughes, "it was there" once upon a time very long ago, but then something happened that moved that dream beyond my reach. What came after the point that the wall crept in between my dream and me? Did my dream change? Did it fade away? Or, was it simply deferred?

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

Like a raisin in the sun?

It is a shared human experience to dream dreams, some of which we are blessed to fulfill, some we must walk away from and some which we are forced to postpone when the wall slowly blocks our way. But, deferred does not always mean gone, because some dreams just get repackaged in ways that we could never have anticipated. Although our dream appears to have drifted beyond our reach, when we stop years later and look backwards, the work of what we called our dream has become a central part of what we have become.

Each time funny things happen to our dreams, things happen to us as dreamers as well. We lose our willingness to dream. We lose faith in possibility and we lose faith in tomorrow. We begin to just hold onto getting through -- getting by. We teach our children to be realistic and practical. We teach them not to expect too much so they do not get disappointed. We do not intentionally do this with our words but with our weariness, caution, and acquiescence. I remember how driven I was to try harder than I thought I could because of my dream. I remember picturing what my life would be like when my dreams came true and that the ‘little things’ that often trip us up just seemed so unimportant and small in the light streaming from my vision of the future. My dreams were like a mithril shirt protecting me against fear and defeat. I also remember the day I felt my shirt slip away.

As a community, we are the light that emboldens our children to dream and the mithril shirt that gives them the safe environment to dream in. If excellence is the target our children are expected to shoot for, then the dreams that enrich their lives is the bow that propels them forward. The mission of Step Up Springfield is to help our children become the best they can be and to be ready for life. Remember, we can stand behind them, but we must empower them to stand up for themselves first. For more information on learning how to teach our children to believe in themselves, contact Step Up Springfield at (413) 693-0228.

Hughes, Langston, As I Grew Older, reprinted in Black Voices An Anthology of Afro-American Literature, New York: Mentor Books, 1968, p 426.

Hughes, Langston, Harlem (aka Dream Deferred) reprinted in Black Voices An Anthology of Afro-American Literature, New York: Mentor Books, 1968, p 430.

Tolkien, J.R.R, The Hobbit, New York, Ballentine Books, 1937. p 228. n

As published in the June 2008 edition of Afro Am Point Of View retrieved from: http://www.afampointofview.com/POV%20Archives/2008/June2008/StepUp_Dreams%20Fulfilled.htm