Why the World Needs Dreamers
“Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth.” —Rumi (Mystic poet)
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” —Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior
Not long ago, I watched the movie Tomorrowland. Sitting in front of me was a group of pre-teen girls, eating popcorn and giggling. At the end of the movie, these girls cheered and clapped with triumphant enthusiasm. The movie (starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson) explores the question of whether the planet can be saved from what ails it (violence, environmental destruction, wars, etc.). After much mayhem, a search ensues for the earth’s dreamers. Dreamers are needed because they haven’t given up. “They’re the future.”
Dreamers question our assumptions. See beyond current conditions. And work together to implement positive solutions.
Where do we begin this quest to uncover the dreamers among us?
Ernest Holmes (Spiritual teacher and founder of Science of Mind) says that we need to examine the spiritual level of causation before we can transform a situation. Looking deeper to understand the root causes of human, animal, and environmental suffering requires on-going efforts. Doing our own inner work, whether through spiritual exploration, self-awareness methods such as meditation, or other forms of personal growth, is one way to gain insights. Ideally, inner growth then leads to effective actions in the world. We can each use our unique skills—whatever those may be—to contribute to the shared vision of a better future.
Dreamers avoid: Stereotypes. Greed. Judgments. Cynicism. Hate. Every time we use phrases such as: “All Muslims, all men, all white people, all black people, all women, all Christians, all Pagans, all Jews, all gays, all straight people, all immigrants, etc.,” we dehumanize one another. Perhaps instead, we could try treating one another as spirits of the Divine. Namaste: “I bow to the divinity in you” is one such greeting. “May peace be upon you” or “Peace be with you” are similar greetings that help us practice: Respect. Love. Humility.
Dreamers embrace: Curiosity. An open mind. Creative problem solving. Passion. Joy. Collaboration. A vision of peace. A vision of a world community that cares for ALL living beings. A vision of a healthy planet. A vision of shared resources, where everyone who arrives in our Earth home is an honored guest. We might start by listening to one another’s stories, especially to the voices of the unheard: individuals who are marginalized or treated as outcasts. Listening to the sorrows of others, along with their hopes and dreams, increases our compassion. Compassionate listening allows us to break down the barriers between “us” and “them.” When we connect from our hearts, we understand that we are not alone in our suffering. We then begin to build a more loving and inclusive community.
Dreamers are not passive. They take their vision and apply it in the world. There is a long list of such people: Gandhi, Jesus, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thich Nhat Hanh, Maya Angelou, John Lennon, Rumi, Starhawk, Peace Pilgrim, Black Elk along with numerous other artists, musicians, teachers, parents, activists, writers, dancers, inventors, scientists, and so on. As Harriet Tubman said, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
May it be so.
In joy & gratitude,
Diana J. Ensign