Dreams…considered imaginary when not realized, considered unrealizable and impractical when they are on a large scale. Yet, they give us the freedom to let our minds course over uncharted territory.
What is a dream then? Is it just innocent imagination? Or is it the foundation for a larger act or ambition? It can be both, I say. Dreams take birth in the mind of man and have been taking birth since the beginning of time. Needless to say, it is these dreams which have led to the betterment of human lives. The role of dreams can be examined at every stage of history and life.
In the prehistoric era, man survived on raw roots and fruits. He suffered because of the cold weather. He lived in makeshift houses. It was then that he started dreaming. He dreamt of having tastier food to eat, of keeping himself warm and of keeping himself safe and secure. It was due to his dreams that he learnt how to cook food, learnt how to make clothes out of animal skins and learnt to make caves his home. As one can observe, dreams are the catalysts for learning and discovery. Without them, man would not have gone on to achieve the things he has done so far.
The role of dreams only got more prominent after the Neolithic age. Man now had higher dreams of making his work easier. So he went on to extract iron and made alloys, ultimately improving his standard of living. An old saying goes like this, “Necessity is the mother of invention”. But I would like to say that dreams are the main cause for invention to occur in the first place as I believe that any idea starts off as a dream. The very manifestation of a dream creates the necessity, which ultimately results in invention.
The Industrial Revolution, without which the world might not be as industrialized as it is now, occurred due to the dreams of many people. They dreamt of a better life and that provided the impetus for them to start this massive revolution. Buildings have been built of dreams – a dream to make a building which would leave its mark on the pages of history and which would be remembered for centuries to come.
When dreams can produce such effective results, why don’t people dream? The one factor that comes into play here is fear – Fear that one cannot realize their dreams. This fear is not inborn but usually poured from external sources, one of which is discouragement from people around you. The first reaction from another person when one explains what one’s dream is, turns out to be, “You will never achieve it. Stop building castles in the air”.
Continuous discouragement like this will hamper a person’s ability to even try and dream again. Another factor which prevents people from dreaming is lack of ability to implement their dreams. This category of people never wants to work towards realizing their dreams; instead they jump from dreaming one dream to another.
Another peculiar observation I have made is that many people think that dreams are for the youth, not for the adults. They feel that it is possible to have wild ideas and dreams in their younger days and that it is not practical to have dreams when they grow up. They attribute this attitude to the ‘reality’. They blame that it is impractical to implement their ideas as they know all the difficulties of the world. By doing this, they are only imposing limitations on themselves. As a result, they never try to overcome the hurdles and never try to achieve what they had once dreamt of. They do not remember that:
“Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.”