Tag Archives: dreams

War, a dream thief: Part 1

Children should be given the space to grow; and playing is a huge part of that. Additionally, as they grow up, they should be encouraged to dream; because truth is, a child can be anything they set their hearts and minds on. This is what every child requires… an environment where their dreams are nurtured.

But imagine this: a world where a child is happily riding on his bike, and as he enjoys the cool breeze on his face, a missile hits a nearby building, sending shards of glasses into the air. Some shards fly right into his head, injuring him severely.

In pain and panicking, the child cycles back home, trying to save dear life. He’s almost out of breath…When he gets back home, he finds a pile of debris where their beautiful home once stood. Death is in the air… Horror-struck, he jumps off his bike rushing towards the rubble… hoping to find at least a family member… but as he slowly realises, when the house caved in, it came down on everyone who was inside, killing them all. He’s all alone now, in the big scary world…

Sounds horrifying, right? Well there’s this documentary I watched on Deutcshe Welle News last week. It was highlighting the plight of civilians in Yemen, and their experiences were harrowing. It had me thinking, most of the time we take peace for granted…

In the documentary, the reporters were two young boys, possibly around the ages of ten and seven. They were interviewing some people, asking them if they wanted to send a video message to the European Union, to request them to help avert the war in Yemen.

War in yemen

The first interviewee was a woman, branded “Miss War”. When asked about the origin of her name, she explained that there’s usually a photo of her where she’s carrying a bundle of firewood on her head, holding it in place with one hand. In the other hand she’s seen holding a yellow water jerrycan. She depicted the resilience of the Yemeni woman.

The second interviewee was a satirical writer, who said he doesn’t write anymore because it is hard to make jokes when people are surrounded by death. His young son, who seemed six or seven joined him. The two young reporters asked him if he was afraid of the constant bombings, and he said he was not afraid anymore, explaining that where they used to live before was far much worse. So now he’s sort of used to it.

The dad explained further that he has a bike, which he rides even when there are ongoing bomb blasts. Whilst admiring the boy’s courage, I couldn’t help pitying him; he’s gotten accustomed to the feeling of imminent death, that could rob him of his family and everything else he holds dear; including his own life.

That reminded me how much I hated watching news when I was a child, because they brought stories of various places ravaged by war… and that was just too much grief for my fragile mind to absorb. Sadly, these children were living in the actual war, their surroundings, so macabre… and they couldn’t escape it…

In his video message to the EU, the satirical writer was filmed dribbling a football. He said that in Yemen there are good people who’ve been caught up in the war and who are losing their lives every day. Furthermore, he said that Yemen is made up of three things: people, earth and history… But with the ongoing war, it’s losing all of the three and if the war doesn’t cease, there will be nothing left.

The person taking the video panned their surrounding; there were many collapsed buildings around them, plus there was this massive hole on one part of the tarmacked road. The scene seemed like it was cut from an Avengers movie, where the city’s destroyed after a gruelling battle between the superheroes and an almost invincible villain of the piece.

The satirical writer further said that Yemen needed theatres and stadiums. These to him were uniting factors, where people could come together and have fun instead of turning against each other. Asked, by the two young reporters what the cause of the war was, he said no one knew exactly. Even the attackers did not know why they were slaying people.

The third interviewee was a female painter. Most of her paintings were images of the bombings and their casualties. One of them was an eleven year old girl. She was lying on the ground, dead. The painter explained to the two boys that the young girl was heading to school, where she had an exam at eight, when a missile hit a nearby building. Some flying shard hit her, injuring her fatally.

My heart bled for that young girl… maybe she was nervous about having to sit an exam, but at the back of her head, she was encouraged by the thought that she was edging closer to achieving her dreams… she could have been anything she wanted to be…but just like that, her life was ended prematurely. And worst part is, the one who fired that missile might never even know what they did… they killed an innocent child…to them, she’ll just be part of the huge, unidentified collateral damage.

 

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All kids are born artists

One of the songs I’ve always loved is Celine Dion’s Power of the dream.

Deep within each heart
There lies a magic spark
That lights the fire of our imagination
And since the dawn of man
The strength of just ” I can “
Has brought together people of all nations

There’s nothing ordinary
In the living of each day
There’s a special part
Every one of us will play

Feel the flame forever burn
Teaching lessons we must learn
To bring us closer to the power of the dream
As the world gives us its best
To stand apart from all the rest
It is the power of the dream that brings us here

Your mind will take you far
The rest is just pure heart
You’ll find your fate is all your own creation
And every boy and girl
As they come into this world
They bring the gift of hope and inspiration

Everytime I listen to this song, I feel each person comes to this world talented, with a special role to play in this world. Problem is, many people never get to realize their talents because their parents/guardians didn’t help them discover and nurture their gifts when they were still young.

‘Geniuses are not born, they are made.’ I’ve heard that statement severally. Recently I was watching TED talks, where the speaker-Sir Ken Robinson-was saying, all kids are born artists. He was talking about how parents push their kids into getting into college to get diplomas and degrees they might never use in their lives. Many parents don’t like it when their kids pick up anything that has to do with arts. So most of the time someone decides to do music, poetry, dance…etc. professionally, they do it behind their parents’ backs.

Personally I’ve met people who have university degrees, but chose to do something different entirely. Most parents only agree to it, when their kids have taken a shot and succeeded, and given that not everyone’s lucky, some of those who fail end up feeling like miserable failures, especially if their parents/guardians were against it from the start.

all kids are born artists

The speaker also mentioned that the value of education is slowly depreciating, saying that when he was young, anyone with a college degree who didn’t have a job failed to have one out of their own volition. Nowadays, many young people are jobless, yet they have all the credentials they could need to secure well-paying jobs; and even those with jobs feel underemployed because the jobs they hold don’t match their credentials. This is attributed to the fact that nowadays bachelor’s degrees aren’t as valuable as they were back then. People with master’s degrees and PhD’s are given first priority when seeking employment.

This same people who suffer day after day because they don’t have jobs, are very talented people. They feel stuck because they don’t realize they could earn a living from using their talents, because the society we live in disparages arts.

When asked what they want to be when they grow up, most of the kids will say, “I want to be a doctor/neurosurgeon/lawyer/teacher/pilot/accountant…etc. Very few say they want to be painters/actresses/musicians/dancers/writers/athletes/poets…you know, careers that have to do with our natural talents. When all’s said and done, many talents end up undiscovered.

Once when I was in high school, a motivational speaker asked, “Do you know where you can find the most talent?” It sounded somewhat rhetorical, so no student cared to answer. “At the cemeteries,” he finished. Confused, we all stared at him, waiting for him to expound. Thankfully he did. “Many people don’t do anything to nurture their talents. If you ask, some will even tell you they don’t have talents. Eventually, they take their undiscovered talents to the graves with them when they die.”

He gave me something new to reflect on. It’s unfortunate that some people spend all their lives, oblivious to the beautiful gifts they possess. As Celine sings, “Every boy and girl, as they come into this world, they bring the gift of hope and inspiration.”  We all have an important role to play in this world. Everyone has the power to dream; and if one can dream it- if they’re determined- they will achieve it.

Of all the dreams…

Of all the dreams I’ve had since I became aware of the person I am, there’s this dream I’ve never forgotten. I can’t remember how old I was, but I know I was small. Judging by the house we lived in at the time, I wasn’t older than nine.

I was in the living room of the same house we lived in then, when I saw Jesus standing outside, peering through the window. I was so excited. I ran to the window, trying to get out so I could get to Him, but He stopped me, and pointed at the door, which was just a few steps from the window. I ran to the door, but before I could get out I woke up…

Jesus in my life

I’ve never been too keen on interpreting dreams, but at the time I remember feeling like Jesus was trying to tell me there are no shortcuts to Heaven. If I got out through the window I would have literally landed on Him; I know He wouldn’t have let me fall, but He signaled me to use the door, which naturally meant I would have to go round before getting to Him, and maybe in the process I would have fallen, or rammed my toe into a stone…

In life there are so many times we find ourselves struggling, with illnesses, debts, we get caught up in  tragedies, which make us feel like our faith is being put to test. People who were once believers backslide; people’s faith wanes…those are some of the things we face on our quest to get to Heaven. The road to heaven is narrow and thorny and we could get discouraged at times, but if we persist we’ll get there, and He’ll be there to receive us.