Oct 26, 2011

Actuality. Imagination. Dreams.

Directly between the Empire of Actuality, and the Nation of Imagination, sits the Republic of Dreams. We’re all familiar with the place: A land where our desires and aspirations perform the dance of possibility. Our expectations flutter in the breeze of faith. And the sun—always shining—smiles down from above. Throughout the Republic; hope emanates.

Every one of us has an internal compass guiding us there—and the lure to go is substantial. Some visit it regularly and enjoy all it has to offer. Yet, amazingly, others often get lost—or just give up—along the way. Maybe it’s because our time in the Empire of Actuality can make us so weary, the journey seems beyond reach. Or perhaps the dividing line between the Republic of Dreams and the Nation of Imagination gets too blurred and we can no longer differentiate. It’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins; our dreams read more like fiction.
Despite the barriers that prevent us from going, we still possess the ability to make the trip any time we’d like. It’s that simple. It’s never too late to have a new dream, or to pursue an old one. So it goes for you; and so it goes for me. I say that more for my own benefit than yours, because for a long time I wasn’t using my dream compass to its potential; which will never happen again. I’m in an era of awareness.

Now, I have this rather audacious dream. One that I haven’t mentioned to many people—maybe due to doubts about it happening. But maybe there’s a power in sharing it...
I’m hoping to compete in an Ultramarathon on all seven continents. In fact, not only do I want to run in some of the hardest races on earth, I’d like to reach my goal within the next few years.
But that’s not the most significant part of my dream. The challenge of it entices me, for sure, and traversing to some beautiful destinations will be great; BUT it’s really about making a difference. Hopefully my actions will inspire others to take action. And most of all I just want to help people. Raising money for charity, speaking to groups of kids, or adults, about my experiences—both running and cancer—will give me a sense of self worth. And isn’t that what it’s really all about?
Obviously it’s still a work in progress, and there’s no guarantee it will happen. I’m not going to let that stand it way my dream pursuit, though.

It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.
It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideal, but it is a disaster to have no ideal to capture.
It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim is sin.

~Benjamin Elijah Mays
The Republic of Dreams: It’s a nice place to visit, but I want to live there. Everyone’s invited.