(Modified and re-posted from a 2012 Monday Minute email message to my faculty & staff.)
I am a dreamer. Even at 44 years of age, I’m still convinced that my childhood dreams will one day be realized. I will climb Mount Everest. I will write a Grammy-winning song. I will score the winning goal in a Stanley Cup championship. And, yes, I will win a gold medal in the Olympics. Hey – there is always the winter sport of curling – it could happen.
My dad is a dreamer, too, so I come by it honestly. When he and my mother dropped me at my college dorm many dreams ago, he handed me a letter as he was leaving. He wrote, “Son, follow your dreams. You will find a few of them. And, for the many that you don’t find, you will learn perseverance and tenacity, and you will be a stronger man for it. It would be far worse that you look back in 30 years, and wonder, “What might have been?” I can tell you, I don’t wonder.
I am a total sucker for a sappy lyric about dreaming “the impossible dream”. I still love the Muppet Movie song, “The Rainbow Connection” for the lyric, “Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection – the lovers, the dreamers, and me.” As I told my faculty on opening day a while back, the first time I heard the Owl City lyric, “Chase your dreams…Take to the sky”, I decided that I would eventually use that song as a school kick-off slogan. And, when I was watching the Olympics closing ceremonies in 2012, and John Lennon made a magical appearance on the big screen singing “… you say that I’m a dreamer. Well, I’m not the only one”, I decided that school year would be the one.
If I could, I would chisel the popular Shel Silverstein poem, “Invitation” into the sidewalk leading to doors of my school building. I cannot think of better words for welcoming young children into a building where the pursuit of their dreams will be honored, celebrated, supported, and validated as real possibilities, results of hard work and excellence in trying and learning. For us educators, I would argue that Silverstein is throwing down at our feet a bit of a challenge. I enthusiastically offer those words to you:
“If you are a dreamer, come in! If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer… If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire, For we have some flax golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!”
Are you up to the challenge? Let’s go!