Dreams and the Harsh Reality

By | December 12, 2011
See? It’s not easy to be like me!

When I was little I wanted to be a scientist. I didn’t really know why I wanted to be one back then but maybe because I always admired people who were able to impact the society through their ideas and inventions. Then there was this dream of becoming a journalist, a popular one that you can see in television. There were actually a lot of things that I wanted back then but I can’t remember all of them now. Anyway, these two top my list. Thinking about these dreams today, it occurred to me that as children, even if we have little grasp and knowledge about the world around us, there is always the aspiration to be someone that can contribute to the society. Wanting to be someone that can make a change. Today, when you watch game shows that feature children and when asked what they want to be when they grow up, most of the answers revolved around these professions: doctor, teacher, engineer, and lawyer. And when asked why, it is simply because they wanted to help poor people to get medicines, they wanted to teach children how to read and write and so on. Although it may seem too idealistic, but that’s the nature of children.
However, as we grow old we are faced with the harsh reality of the world. Those with these ideals are sucker punched by the fact that the real world cares little about what you have to contribute nor is it willing to actively help you to be someone that could make a change. Out of all those children who aspired to do something great, only a few will ever succeed. Despite the potentials, many won’t be in the position to even aim for their dreams at all.
Slowly, that colorful dream of being a scientist is downgraded by the reality to a routine job. The aspiration to change lives becomes wanting to just make a living. We have no choice but to learn, albeit slowly, on how to survive this life. We are faced with the reality that it’s not easy changing the world. It’s not easy being someone who can make a difference to human kind.
Admit it or not, we have to think of ourselves first before helping others. Because there is really no way you can help if you can’t even feed yourself, right? Surviving in life can mean taking up a degree that can give you a good-paying job. It’s not about what you like and what you want anymore but of how to survive.
This is by no means an act of surrender but an acknowledgement of the true state of things. This is not about letting dreams remain dreams. This is a realization that the path towards one’s dream is not always straightforward. One may have to take detours or climb hills along the way. One may have to grind through tedious jobs or move from one career to another in order to open the path towards one’s dreams.

Photo credits to the owner, caption: mine!

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