The Challenge for Day 16.
The challenge for Day 16 is to write about hope, that thing which pushes us forward even ( Or especially ) when the going gets tough. It came up in a previous post of mine, Hope, so it’s obviously something close to my heart. This time I thought I’d expand it a bit and talk about hope in relation to following a dream. The quote below is by Jonas Salk, author and medical practitioner, the man who developed the polio vaccine.
There is hope in dreams, imagination, and in the courage of those who wish to make those dreams a reality. Jonas Salk
Dreams come from that secret place within us, the place we can only really access when we are still. Away from all the noise, the stress, the distractions. That’s why I think boredom is undervalued, it forces us to reach inside ourselves, to let our imaginations run free.
As a child, I had plenty of time to be bored. That meant I often lived in imaginary worlds, invented new games, made friends with nature. I could spend hours watching the newborn lambs, inventing names for them, bottle feeding the orphans. And I’m sure the same was true for most children at the time. You could almost say we had no choice but to be creative.
Nowadays, it feels like we are afraid to let children, or ourselves, be bored. Everything seems time-tabled, instant this, instant that. But everyone needs a time out, time to be bored, time to daydream. That’s the only way we can discover our true selves and what it is we want out of life.
So, where does hope come in? I think it underlies each step in the process.
It’s there when you have that first inkling Yes, this is what I want to do, because it enables you to see different possibilities, maybe even a different world, like Jonas Salk.
Then, it is hope that gives you the courage to face your fears, leap into the unknown and land on unexplored ground. Many dreams die because we fail at this stage. I know, because it’s happened to me so many times.
Next comes the hard graft. We have the dream, but it won’t come to fruition on its’ own, it takes dedication and hard work. And sometimes things get tough and we wonder Is it worth it? All you can do is abandon the dream or hope for a better tomorrow.
That’s a bit like how I am with this challenge, it can be gruelling at times, but hey, I signed up for it and I’m not quitting. And the hope that I can improve as a writer is keeping me going. The Dream? To publish my writing someday.
One of my favourite poets is Erin Hanson. A young, Australian poet, she writes on age-old themes like fear of failure and brings them to life in the modern age. Your dreams are born of hope and it is this same hope which carries you through the fears…Basically the same message as Jonas Salik, just in poetic form. We have to hope, to dream, to fly.
What if I fall?
There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask, “What if I fall?”
Oh, but my darling,
What if you fly?
– by Erin Hanson
Day 16 of My 31 Day Challenge, organized by Jeff Goins…Dream, Hope, Fly
The photograph is my own, shot in Dublin.