Photo Note: This is my niece and nephew, taken a couple of years ago.
We all need a little bit of inspiration every once in a while. This week I would like to share with you a book that really touches my heart. I stumbled upon Dallas Clayton’s An Awesome Book while browsing the internet late last winter, and it made me feel so good I bought a copy and sent it to my three- and five-year-old niece and nephew in Oklahoma City. All you need is five minutes of your time, and you can read the entire thing online, cover-to-cover. I highly recommend you click the link below, as this blog post does not do the message justice:
“Yes, there are places in the world
Where people dream up dreams
So simply un-fantastical
And practical they seem
Instead they dream of furniture
Of buying a new hat
Of owning matching silverware
Could you imagine that?
Yes there are places in the world
Where dreams are almost dead
So please my child do keep in mind
Before you go to bed
To dream a dream as big
As big could ever dream to be
Then dream a dream ten times as big
As that one dream you see
Please dream for those who’ve given up
For those who’ve never tried
Please use your dream to make new dreams
For all the dreams that died
So when you think your dreaming’s done
Just remember what I said
‘Close your eyes my child and dream
That perfect dream inside your head.’”
I get chills every time I read this.
Kids often have a lot to deal with, not only at school, but at home. It can sometimes be difficult for a young child or teenager to think beyond their immediate situation. They may feel trapped by circumstances beyond their control. Many of these students shut down mentally, physically, and emotionally. When kids close themselves off in these ways, their school life and personal relationships can be negatively affected.
This book reminds me what we need to do and be for children as counselors and educators. We need to set an example and inspire kids to keep dreaming, think big, never give up, and always strive for the best. We need to show children that the world is huge and goes beyond the difficulties they may be experiencing. Kids are resilient, and that quality is what will carry them past the troubles they face. It is our job to provide an environment that cultivates that resiliency and natural enthusiasm. Our goal should be to help these students grow into adults that are excited about life, not material objects like “matching silverware” and telephones. If we take care of ourselves, then our own passions, dreams, and motivations will shine through and help inspire passion and motivation in those children we work with.