It was months ago since our last weekly challenge. I thought we completely forgot all about it until Joval reminded me this month. So here we are, back to this exciting activity.
We are going to talk about dreams. Yes, dreams. As in the desires of our hearts, our hopes in this life, the driving force that keeps us going, the end of the rainbow we are trying to chase. Something that gives us purpose and underlines the meaning of existence.
Sometimes, it feels like I have a ton of dreams I want to own. But there are instances that my life seems like a barren land. I thirst for dreams that will give me the wings to take a flight.
Dreams alone can sustain me. But I need more than that to get me going. I have to want them enough to force me to take a leap. A leap out of my comfort zone. A leap that tears down the boundaries of safety. A leap that pushes me one step closer to the person I can be proud of.
My friends tell me I’m complex. I’m too full of contradictions. My dreams reflect that.
Sometimes I believe I have three souls residing in one body. And each has a dream that fuels every action I take.
This is the predominant trait of my being. This sustains the mundane existence I live. This alone can open a door to an extraordinary world, while all along I lead an ordinary life. It prods me to idealise everything I encounter.
There are far more things in heaven and earth, Horatio
Than are dreamt in your philosophy
-Hamlet, William Shakespear
Idealist, that’s what they say. This idealist shelters me from the harshness of reality, allowing me to find the silver lining in every cloud, the rainbow at the end of a storm. It leads me to search for the goodness in every man, making me realise that everybody deserves a chance at this life even if he thinks his life doesn’t amount to much. It makes me ache at every hardship I read in weary faces I meet. It compels me to ease their worry and suffering.
Because of this, I dream of serving humanity. Not through politics because the very thought annoys the living daylights out of me. But through genuine desire to help and to serve. I want to follow the footsteps of Abdul Sathar Edhi, a man who transformed the way I look at Pakistan and ordinary Pakistanis. The media might tell the world what Pakistan is, but my heart will see that country as so much more than Taliban and terrorists. Edhi collects money from ordinary Pakistanis. Not from the government. Not from corporations. Not from politicians. And he builds something that not even Red Cross can transcend. He does not profit from any of it. His work is the true meaning of humanitarianism.
No religion is greater than humanity.
It’s an impossible dream. I’m human and fickle-minded. But it is something I really want and I will strive for it. Someday. In good time.
A pessimist, I say. I used to have this shiny surface around my heart that keeps me safe from disillusionment. But reading and expanding my horizon helped me become a frustrated idealist. This self made me put high fences around my personal space. I will loathe anyone who violates it. So far, nobody managed to and I’d like to keep it that way.
When I’m in my cynic state, I dream of a faraway land where no one can reach me. I will wallow in solitude. I know it is absolute freedom to be in the company of nature alone. Human contact terrifies me sometimes so being a hermit is a perfect solution. I will write on paper. I will read a lot. I will sleep under the stars and listen to the music of the wind.
There will be one less human to populate and pollute the earth. I’ll be a speck of dust in a vast universe and when I die, I’ll sink into oblivion. Forgotten.
I don’t care to be remembered, anyway.
I am nothing.
I’ll never be anything.
I couldn’t want to be something.
Apart from that, I have in me all the dreams in the world.
This is my usual self – the one that neutralizes the dreamer and the cynic. I owe it a lot. Its presence kept my sanity intact.
We worship perfection because we can’t have it; if we had it, we would regret it. Perfection is inhuman, because humanity is imperfect.
Imagine a man standing in a cliff. To the left is a dark, bottomless pit. The unknown. Danger lurks underneath. To the right is a world straight out of a picture book. It’s painted in pastel. Beautiful and perfect.
Both sides are in the extreme.
You can’t blame me if I stand my ground and stay in the middle. Order and chaos. It’s like the world we inhabit. In order to survive, we need balance.
That’s what I do with my dreams. I balance them and in the process, I took a semblance of control into how I run my life.
Henry David Thoreau sums up my predicament and provides me with the right wisdom not to stumble and fall:
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Ah, spinning dreams. It is a joyous endeavour. We need to keep in mind though, that sometimes we don’t always have to steer it the way we want to. It is liberating to let dreams take us wherever it lead us.
Keep dreaming. But never forget to live.