As a child, what did you dream of? Are those dreams still the same? As you’ve grown older, sure you may have traded your old dreams for new dreams, but does this mean you should be dreaming any less?
I’m slowly warming up to this thing called adulthood. I don’t feel like I’m quite there yet (honestly I am not in a hurry) but there are two things I never want to let go of: dreams that scare me, and my sense of wonder.
Some dreams are crazy big. TOO big, you think. So big you can’t say them out loud, dreams you can only share with your bestie. Dream them anyway.
What’s the point of just dreaming dreams you can easily see the path to? Is that a dream or is it a plan? I don’t think growing up means you let go. Instead, why not expand?
A few years ago, after telling him what I wanted for my life, a friend of mine asked me about my dreams for Nigeria or Africa. It made me realize how small my dreams were, if they only involved me. I didn’t have the right answer then but now I do. A very rough sketch, but I can see it. His question has remained on my mind ever since, and I pose it to you today.
What are your scary dreams for yourself? For your community? Your country? For Africa?
So much has been said about the problems in the country, on the continent and beyond.
Way more troubling to me than some disturbing views being thrown about, are comments like this: “Oh, maybe the next generation will fix our tribalism problem or be less corrupt.” “It’s going to take about 30 years for poor South Africans to mentally advance from being xenophobic.”
Why are we talking about the next generation when we are only just beginning? I am twenty two freaking years old. Why should people in their 20s be talking about what the next generation will do? Why are we shifting this responsibility? 30 years is a long time.
Rome was not built in a day, but I think these statements, this kind of thinking is more harmful than helpful. We think like this on the big scale and apply it to our little lives as well. I’m not being unrealistic by saying this but when you say you “realistically” see or imagine us progressing from point A to point B in 30 years, does this “realistically” encourage people to get moving? Tomorrow, tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes. Tomorrow is too far. On the little scale, I hate when we talk about how “Life happens” before we even begin. We are already preparing for the possibility that we won’t make it, that something, anything WILL get in the way. We are PROCRASTINATING.
I’m asking you today to dream now. Dream big. Dream bigger. For yourself, and bigger than yourself. For others, beyond your family. Bigger for this nation, these nations we are building.
This isn’t me pretending to have all the answers, actually- I’ve been stuck in some kind of rut lately but I KNOW this is not where I’m supposed to be.
“It’s easier said than done”
“Well done is better than well said.”
No dream comes alive without you working it into being, but don’t let this make you underestimate the power of the mental process. The process that propels you to do the saying in the first place.
And what better time than now? Whether you’re still stuck in the 70s or 90s. Whether you’re one of those people who think good music died in the 90s or fashion in the 80s, whatever you moan about this generation of blessed “Millenials”, we are an amazing lot. Soooo many young people out here setting the world on fire, doing real things. It’s inspiring. This is the generation that is blurring the lines. This is the generation that is challenging the status quo, refusing to be boxed in, we do not want to have to choose- we want it all. Whether we actually can or cannot is not the question, we are going to very well try. We have our own problems, but I have faith. As long as we keep dreaming dreams, and focusing on our power to chase them, there is so much more good we can do.
So much YOU and I can change. It’s not easy but what have we got to lose? When you try, you either get it or you don’t. But when you don’t even try…