You Are Free to Dream

Banners unfurl, flags dance in abundance, and if you listen intently, you can hear the low rumble of drums that begin to intensify and make your heart race just a bit, as the poignant day draws near. Independence Day!

How wonderful it is to be free! Have you ever truly considered it? Independence is such an indescribable gift and America is a blessed country! Whether you were born within her shores, emigrated or are just visiting, you are here and you are free. In this land, we have the opportunity to aspire to greatness or, at least, a higher level than we had previously attained. Here, you can start again, even if you messed up before. Education, financial aid, and the chance to birth your dreams – they are here.

I know there are naysayers, ones who are more apt to list the faults rather than the blessings of this country or of life, in general. Interestingly enough, they, too, are still here. Someone shared with me a portion of President Theodore Roosevelt’s speech at the Sorbonne in 1910. I wish to pass these thought-provoking words on to you:

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."

As you aspire to do great things with your life, whether you are in the USA or not, how often are you met with those who would drag you to the dust and trample upon your dreams? Do you meet more encouragers or naysayers; the ones whose favorite words seem to be, “Can’t do it;” “Not possible;” and “Not going to happen?” During my years as a teacher, I posted the following sign on my classroom door:

Here is something to keep uppermost in your mind: the negativity ends now! You are a talented visionary with God-given dreams. Do not squash them with self-doubt and do let anyone take them from you.

Use this Independence Day as your starting point. Grab pen and paper and note all your dreams, hopes, and ideas. Go back to your childhood. You may be surprised at the length of your list. Add meat to the bones of the concepts that have lain dormant in your mind. Use the talents with which you have been blessed. Add to them the skills that you have gained in your life. Top them with courage. Refuse to let your dreams fizzle like a damp firecracker that just won’t gain momentum.

What is it, for you? Is it a new business, new job, new territory, new career, new relationship, new self-respect? If you are working on breaking away from the negative, how about less settling, less under-achievement or less dream-squashing? Will you become free this Independence Day?

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