What is your dream? What do you feel led to do?
I've already stated in this blog that I long to be a writer.
There are people out there, however, that believe I should be content to "settle down" or "grow up" and get a “real job” (as if one could be found between the cushions of my couch). Apart from the fact that I can’t find a “real job,” I do find that people with this attitude are dreamless people. They believe dreams are for children and sleeping. They are doctors of pragmatism that feel it is their duty to cure creative people of this pressing disease called Hope.
They are the ones that would tell the 95-year-old woman, "Why do you need to finish college? What's the point? Is it worth it?"
If you aspire for more, avoid those types of people. They will only kill your hope and destroy your faith. They do not understand people who want to step out of the line to search for something more. To quote Mark Twain, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
Don't you have enough to fight against within yourself, namely your own feelings of insecurity and doubt? You don’t need to surround yourself with people who are in the habit of squashing your dreams. They are people who are content on being do-nothing successes. They've never failed because they've never tried.
On the other hand, you shouldn’t be too harsh with these types of people either. More than likely, they are still mourning over the moment their dreams were shattered. A company of quitters is a miserable bunch who, in their own way, say to themselves, "We may not be happy, but at least we are not alone."
But I am not satisfied being in the company of quitters. I much rather walk alone toward my goal than to stay behind with those who have given up.
So, if we can't avoid these types of people, what do we do?
We pity them. And wherever possible, we help them. Perhaps all they need is someone in their lives to glue back the pieces of those dreams. So I close with Theodore Roosevelt's wonderful quote:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Scott Keen is the author of three young adult fantasy novels, Scar of the Downers, Rise of the Branded, and War of the Downer King.