Dreams Change, But They Should Never Die

Dreams Change, But We Should Never Let Them Die

Many moons ago, when I was a young man studying to be a priest, my dreams were as big as the highest mountain, as deep as the oceans. In my youthful zeal, I was ready to bring the word of God to all nations.

When I was finally ordained a priest and assigned to our mission in Japan, I recall flying over Tokyo, Seeing the bright lights of the city down below I thought to myself how privileged I was to be chosen to bring Christianity to this heretofore “pagan nation.”

A half century later, I find it difficult to relate to the vision of this young man, burning with Christian zeal who dreamt of converting this nation of well over a million people to my religious beliefs. I have long since discovered that showing love and respect to others as they are is ultimately wiser and more effective than trying to convert them.

That doesn’t mean I have given up on my dreams, far from it. I still dream of a better world where people live in peace, in which success is measured not by our wealth but by our love and concern for one another and for the earth we share. I still yearn for peace on earth.

Some would say that this dream is no more realistic than my youthful vision of converting the Japanese to accept my religious values. Maybe they are right but humankinds’ greatest accomplishments have always begun with a dream in the soul of individuals who saw what others could not see.

The Good Book speaks of a time “when your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams.” I think it’s important that those of us with some mileage on our engines keep alive our dreams, hold them and preserve them for the future of our race.

What we old guys and gals have to contribute to the younger generation is perspective. After all, we have experienced some tough times, the global depression, World War 2, Vietnam, the cold war. As a crusty old buddy of mine puts it, “We been through some shit.” The legacy we old timers can leave the coming generations is the gift of hope.

The enemy of our times, as it’s been for so many times in the past, is fear. Like a dark cloud it hovers over our lives making us hesitant to embrace future plans. Fear paralyzes; hope inspires. Our dreams can and do change but,God willing, may we never let it happen that we allow them to die.

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