Changing people's lives for the better
By Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
Mesorah Publications, Ltd.
Many of us have dreams that we would love to achieve but do not consider to be practical. We feel that our dream is so phenomenal that it would be too good to be true for us to make that dream a reality. A dream in its original form might truly be impossible. But we can take that dream and find ways to achieve its essence.
Helping people achieve their dreams does more than just help them reach their goals. They might have felt that something is impossible and you show them how they can actually make it happen.
Consider this scenario. Someone lacks the money needed to pay for a course which will make a major difference in his ability to achieve his dream. You might give him the money as a grant, lend him the money with easy terms, or find someone else who will be willing to help out. You will be making a dream come true.
Or this one. Someone might have deep feelings about wanting a certain job, wishing to develop a certain talent, or dreaming to accomplish and achieve beyond what they thought possible. You come along and find ways to make that want, wish, or dream an actual reality. This will help that person make a quantum leap. In essence, you will be creating a new person.
Never laugh at peoples dreams. To you someones dreams might seem as impossible as flying a machine heavier than air seemed to many before the Wright brothers initial flight, or breaking the four minute mile seemed before Roger Bennister did it. But those impossible dreams did come true.
If you feel that someone is wasting his time pursuing a truly impossible dream, be careful how you word your comments. Never mock anyone. Explain respectfully why you would advise this person to make changes in the exact form of the dream.
There are some dreams that might not be feasible in the original way they are presented. But there are aspects of those dreams that definitely can be reached. Someone might want to write a book that will totally change the world. Perhaps this is a bit too much. But a thousand peoples lives might actually be changed. Not exactly the entire world, but a major accomplishment. And even the process of writing a manuscript that wont be published will change the author himself. As a teacher of mine used to say, When you reach for the stars, you might not catch any, but at least you wont get your hands in the mud.
Keep asking people, What are your dreams? Some dreamers have learned from painful experiences not to share their dreams with others. They have been demeaned and ridiculed. Express your admiration and respect for the very act of having a dream. Be encouraging.
People who are hesitant about pursuing their dreams often have a feeling, If I dont reach my dreams, I am a failure. So its safer not to pursue a dream that might not work out. However, a positive action never results in failure. We learn something from each experience. One project leads to another. Its worthwhile working on ten projects that dont make it. The eleventh, fifteenth, or twentieth project might be immensely successful. All the work devoted to the steps that led to the success retroactively will be seen as exactly what was needed to gain the necessary knowledge and experience.
If a person doesnt have a dream, you might ask, If you werent afraid to dream, what would your dream be? By verbalizing a dream, the most important first step has been reached. And as you read this, you can ask yourself, How can I actualize my dream to help others?