“Dreams that touch one child and make a difference in that child’s life may one day touch millions or even change the world. And just as only God knows how many apples there are in an apple seed, only He knows how many people will be touched by your good deed.” Herman Cain author of Leadership: Is Common Sense, p172.
I teach. It wasn’t my dream, and yet…it is one of the “dreams” that I have chased .
As I began my own summer reading program. I outlined several books that I hoped to read during my 10 weeks of no “set schedule”. However, I do work best when I set my own schedule…thus, a list of crafts to complete, a list of music I want to sing or play on my piano, a list of chores, a list of trips and a list of books.
With the 2012 election just beyond the horizon, reading a candidate’s words in print prior to their venture into politics always gives a better picture of that person’s “dreams”. Amazingly enough, I’ve rarely had trouble finding a candidate’s written words …speeches, books, interviews (although, interviews tend to be a biased presentation depending on the author’s choice of words in presenting those candidate’s words). Now, in this day of the “information highway” not only can I read their words, I can often watch video clips within a few minutes of searching. I like that. As I compare their physical voice with their published voice, I get a clear picture of what type of leader they might be for our country. Best of all, out of print books are just a click away. Herman Cain’s books are the first of many, but he did give me a lot to think about over the next few months.
He writes about his dreams and the leadership that he has provided to others. He shares his ideas on leadership clearly and succinctly, first in CEO of Self: You’re in Charge and later, a more concrete version in Leadership. I can’t argue with his leadership fundamentals. If I were to apply them to my own experience, I would have to say, “It works for me”. In both books, he also refers to how dreams play a big part of leadership; after all, dreams shape who we are, how we respond to those things that happen in life, and to those we encounter on our journey.
Cain’s quote on dreams set me thinking about others who have had dreams for our country: our founding fathers’ dream of a new type of government…Lincoln’s dream of a united country…Ayn Rand/Taylor Caldwell’s dreams of a country growing out of economic/political freedom…Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of a country free of segregation… I could cover the dreams of many different types of leaders, but mostly, I’m concerned with: whose dreams will lead us now?
For a Gemini personality such as myself, it is hard to determine one dream. I suppose that is one of the reasons I never considered being a teacher (in those days prior to going to college). I was a member of “Future Teachers” while I was in high school, but it was just a club to join so my transcript would look good. I wasn’t really serious about it. I taught young girls to be majorettes, mostly to earn extra money for college, again, not because I was really serious about it. I taught vacation bible school and Sunday school classes, but that wasn’t the dream I was going to follow for the rest of my life. It was way too serious for me. Yet, somehow, despite all my other jobs and aspirations to the contrary, my own “dream” emerged, and for 30+ years, I have loved following, learning, adapting and defining, my version of the “dream”.
Herman Cain’s quote at the beginning of this blog is stuck in my mind, and I feel the challenge of wondering (which, to me, is always a good thing). Many of my former students have chosen to stay in contact with me, and I can watch their dreams unfold. My children are grown, and I watch (often holding my breath and hoping they don’t fall) as they chase their dreams. But even so, I will never know how many lives have been changed because I took time to read, to listen and to spend time with that one child. It is my dream. It is what I do. Thanks, Mr. Cain, for reminding me to follow my dreams – even if I’m not teaching in a school. And, I sure hope that whomever is our next president, he/she will be chasing the dream of leading our republic as our first president did…with sacred honor and divine providence.