I was at the movies the other day, when an ad came on before the feature asking if my phone dreams while it sleeps. It’s a stupid question. Which is exactly what I’d thought the last time I was at the movies and was asked if my phone dreams while it sleeps. But for some reason this time I approached it with a ‘hey what the hell’ kind of attitude (I was in a slightly orange mood) and decided to play along. So, being successfully persuaded by the advertisement, I dutifully followed the instructions on the screen as to how to ensure my phone would have a good dream. And then after the movie I turned my phone on and went to see what it had dreamt during the few hours while it was asleep. I was embarrassed to find nothing but a link that wanted me to sign in with my Facebook credentials, and promptly reminded myself that phones are inanimate objects who most definitely can not dream and it was a stupid question in the first place.
While obviously my phone is bunch of plastic and metal parts that can make phone calls and play music and send texts that can not dream, we are none of those things. No we are bits of flesh and bone and brains. We can dream. And we do. Quite a lot I think. In our sleep, in our classes, during meetings, while we run, while we drive, we dream. Some dreams are weird; I’m definitely not the only one who has woken up from a dream and been either confused out of my mind or wondering what memory my brain could have possibly used to construct the dream that I just woke up from. Some dreams are nice and safe. Some dreams are hot and steamy. Some dreams are grand and wonderful. Some dreams are blood-chilling nightmares. Some dreams seem real. I’ve woken up after dreaming I missed a big due date in a panic for at least half a minute before I realized that the date was actually weeks away. And then, sometimes ‘real’ seems like a dream.
The real inspiration for this post ironically enough happened on Facebook. I saw a post as I was flying through my newsreel which was a picture and then a caption “livin’ the dream!” How often do we live our dreams? And how often do we live other peoples dreams. Because when you sit down and dream something up, it’s usually something that you want to see come to life. (Except the blood-chilling nightmares.) How often does that happen? I don’t think it happens nearly often enough. I’m not talking about the normal seeming dreams that you are comfortable sharing with just about anyone, because it seems that you will already be accepted for it. No I’m talking about the dreams that terrify and excite you at the same time. The one’s that you dream about only when no one else is watching. Those are the dreams that are game changing. Those are the one’s that will keep people coming back to hear about other dreams.
But this still leaves the question, how to live your dream. It’s like ideas. It’s really easy to dream. But it’s harder to live that dream. Take, for instance, America. We have had dreams. And, as a nation, we have accomplished some of those dreams. The moon. Emancipation. Independence. This whole thing started out as a dream. I wonder if the founding fathers were as dumbfounded as we get when our crazy ideas work. Sitting here with their own country, our country, this country, looking around at each other all thinking, ‘there’s no way that should have worked.’ But it did and now we have America, and the American dream.
I have a love, very strongly disagree (because hate is a strong word) relationship with the American dream, in that I feel both of those things toward it. The principles I love. I am American, and I am proud of it. That has a lot to do with that dream. But I don’t necessarily like how that dream has manifested itself over the past few decades. I mean what is it now? I believe we live with an understanding of a dream that is from our past. We have been living the American dream as it is manifested today for a while now. Education, family, house, it’s all great but times are changing, so the dream will change too. What is the dream for our future? Where are we headed? What is the dream going to be for our children, and their children? It would be silly for us to live with the dreams and goals and hopes of Abraham Lincoln, because those things have been dreamt and gotten and made reality. You can argue semantics about that all you want but the fact is you can’t own people anymore. No we need to dream new dreams. Without dreams, where will we go? We’ll be stuck. Stuck isn’t a good place to be.
Who knows what tomorrows dream will be. The possibilities are endless. With the world changing as rapidly as it does, and everything that is going on in the news today, your guess is as good as mine. But the dreamers will keep dreaming. And, someday, we’ll find it, the dream for tomorrow. Someone will live it. Others will follow. And then ‘livin the dream’ will be that. The thing is, if you dream your dreams, and live your dreams, then you’ll always be livin the dream. So as great philosopher Aerosmith once said, dream on. Then live on. See you next week.