As children we are encouraged to dream and imagine. Santa, the tooth fairy and Easter bunny give generously and those of us lucky enough to be read to are wrapped in the magic of stories and fairy tales. But then we start school and are introduced to the serious stuff of tests, reports and the curriculum. Here we are judged against children of the same age and found to be lacking. Our different rates of development and strengths drowned in the flood of standardised testing.
Some schools sadly forgo the stuff our dreams and cultures are made of – visual and performing arts, music, language, reading for pleasure and sometimes even libraries are passed over to fund the business end of learning for the global workplace.
And what happens to our dreams? Most of us are too scared to challenge the status quo. We live the lives our parents wanted for us, or that we assume will make us ‘successful’, or that will pay the bills, yet wonder why we feel anxious and empty.
If you have forgotten what it was you dreamed of doing in your life take some time to revisit those dreams. Get a big piece of paper…or small. Grab some coloured pens, magazines, glue and start getting your vision onto paper. Write, draw, stick and ignore the inner critic that tells you to stop being silly and wasting time you could use to do something useful…like ironing – again.
Watch the brilliant Sir Ken Robinson to hear more about valuing the dreams of our children.