Our society urges children to dream big; to follow, even fight for, their dreams. These are laudable sentiments. But they presuppose that children can one day transform their dreams into reality.
For some children, reality is so painful that dreams are their only escape from it. Whether this is the result of poverty or abuse, fantasy seems preferable.
Oh, the dreams, themselves, are beautiful. Every detail is clear.
The dreamers will live in an enormous palace, on a silver lake. They will drink from golden goblets, wield magical swords, wear pearl-studded gowns or impenetrable armor, and sleep on satin sheets.
They will become world famous ballerinas, applauded by millions, or physicians who cure disease with the wave of a wand. They will become race car drivers, and own fleets of flashy limousines. They will discover the lost city of Atlantis and raise it from the sea, or fly rocket ships to the farthest stars.
Tragically, the children dreaming these dreams have no means of achieving them, and no one to show them how to implement such goals.
Rather than a source of motivation, their dreams become self-defeating traps, all too often enhanced and perpetuated by illegal drugs in later life. Continue reading