I found out quite by accident when I was researching children’s names in preparation for the birth of my first son, that my name – Nadene – means Hope. I don’t know if my Mom knew this when she picked it out for me, or whether she just liked the sound of it at the time. I’ll have to ask her. I will say though that as I look back on my life, this aspect of my personality has always been strong. Perhaps it’s an innate trait for me. Perhaps I am reading too much into it.
The thing I like most about this trait though is that it can be contagious, it can be nurtured and is easily passed on to others.
I’ve been told many times, over the last year, in my many discussions with a youth quite close to me that the reason so many youth of today are depressed is because they do not see any hope for their future, and I can’t help but wonder why we as parents have not been able to foster a sense of hope in our children? How is it possible that we have forgotten how important it is to encourage our children to dream big dreams and to follow their heart? How is this ever wrong?
I haven’t forgotten the sense of wonder I have felt – goose bumps even – when I have listened to people describe to me their hopes and dreams. There have also been some occasions, however, when the ideas have seemed so outlandish as to be entirely impossible.
Thankfully I have been able to change my perceptions in this regard. There is something I have come to realize about big or seemingly fantastical ideas and it is this: even if I am unable to understand another person’s ideas, it really has nothing to do with the feasibility of their ideas. After all, who am I to place my own limits on what another person is capable of accomplishing? Who are any of us to limit anyone else’s dreams?
I have been following the progress of an old friend of mine on facebook who is fighting cancer. I see so much bravery in how she has responded to her illness and know how important a person she has become because of her willingness to put herself out there, front and centre, so that she can help others going through the same thing. But also as a consequence to this openness about her struggles, she has built up a community of hope around herself as she goes through her treatment which currently includes chemotherapy. When she was first diagnosed, she decided to create a web-site – trustyourbust.com – with the hope that men and women with breast cancer would have a place they could go to in order to get information and share their stories. She dreams big, even during times of struggle.
My partner and I are looking to the future and taking steps that will involve many changes in our lives over the next year. This came about very recently simply because I told him what my dreams about our future were. Before I knew it, the hopes and dreams I had in the back of my mind all these years are now suddenly being discussed with every intention of making them a reality. All because I decided to share them with him.
That is the thing I think that needs to happen more often. We all need to share our hopes and dreams with at least one person close to us. Saying them somehow makes them more real and more possible. And as well, by not imposing our own limits on others, and by asking them to tell us their hopes and dreams, we help them to nurture their own dreams.
Imagine a world in which everyone was encouraged not only to follow their dreams but to dream big. Our children would do things that surpass all that we thought was possible.
So I say to you as you go on with your day: Dream Big, tell someone, and encourage those in your lives to do the same.