You know dreams and big plans are scary.
Would you think they'd be scary to little kids? Not yours to them; their own dreams. What kind of dreams and goals could a kid have that would scare them?
Doesn't matter what kind. They're all scary.
Last weekend with the grandkids we watched the first few days of the Olympics and athletes reaching their dream.
We watched the movie "Being Elmo" about the guy who dreamed of working with Jim Henson and who then became Elmo. We watched "Cool Runnings" about the Jamaican bobsled team's dreams. We viewed the "Caine's Arcade" video about the nine-year old boy who dreamed of his own arcade and then created one from cardboard boxes in his dad's auto parts store.
Now it was the kids' turn.
I gave the six of them a fun worksheet. In huge bold letters at the top of the worksheet were the words "My Big Dream." Under that it said, "One day I will ____" with a blank for them to finish the sentence.
I reminded them of the stories we'd seen over several days. I told them their dream could be something they do or accomplish or make or become. Whatever they felt or heard inside them.
The worksheet asked a few simple questions about their dream, what it is, how it would help people, and it had a place to draw a picture of what it would be like when their big dream happened. I just wanted them to realize they could think big. I was lighthearted about it.
It scared them all
One wouldn't do it. The five others tried to hide what they were writing. Then when they did write they turned their papers over and didn't want to talk about it. The twelve year old folded his worksheet in thirds and sealed it in an envelope and stashed it away. NO WAY would he share what it was about.
You'd think you'd naturally embrace change and dreams and hope.
Fear of dreams starts young and it doesn't go away. The kid afraid of criticism, rejection, failure, and being told "you can't do that!" turns into the grownup afraid of the same thing.
Hiding your dream from others is understandable.
But you can hide it from yourself too. Do that and you'll spend the rest of your life with your fingers in your ears so you don't hear that thing calling your name.
It takes courage to listen. No matter how old you are.