Fueling the Dream Machine

About the College of Caring

The other night over a cocktail and memories with my wife, she reminded herself of a time as a child when she and her younger brother would sit
around the kitchen table opening the Sear’s catalogue and excitedly pointing to what they wished for on the pages splayed in front of them.

And like in a game of poker memory, I met her ante and raised it with my own memory of a time when I was a child, and my blue-collar family would sit around the kitchen table and dream out loud about what we would buy if my father held the winning ticket for the Irish Sweepstakes.

Fast forward time, and my wife and I already have more than we could have dreamt of as children. These days, clearing out our closet is more the task at hand than wondering how to further fill it. And yet, for both of us, that time when we first got a chance to switch on our dream machine and steer our imagination still holds a magic place in our memory.

Daring to dream isn’t singularly a dream of acquisition but connecting with the vital role dreams have in who we are, who we marry, how we love, and what life we want to look back on with pride of ownership. Dreams open our “what could be” flood gates and counters reason’s dismissal of,  “Ah, forget about it!”

Well, here is what we shouldn’t forget. Dreams are affirmations played forward. Affirmations of imagination can take their own turns in the road. The imagined dreams that do show up in our life aren’t always wearing the face we imagined.

But life is a percentage game, and if we don’t have a dream at play or are a gambler who likes to bet on the negative, the odds of us being a prophet of failure are dramatically enhanced.

Which got me thinking about the economic disparity in this country, about the expanding elasticity of so few owning so much and so many having so little. These days, those who live on the bottom are feeling it. If you are outside the top 10% it’s all bottom, and even dreaming is conceptually outside the land of can do.

If more and more of the people in this country, young and old, feel that dreaming is not only outside their budget but outside their mind set, this is a definition for a profound sadness of the soul. It is the hurt of hearingmusic playing somewhere with an invitation you do not have the means to accept.

Carl Jung wrote: “Myths are public dreams and dreams are private myths.” To be the hero in your myth, turn on your dream machine. Help others to do the same. Flip the switch. Dream on, and on, and pass the word. Caring fuels the dream machine. For all of us.