Guardian of a million dreams

Life is a comedy for those who think; a tragedy for those who feel. Unfortunately, dream molders are feelers.

“Teachers. You are the molders of their dreams. The gods who build or crush their young beliefs of right or wrong.You are the spark that sets aflame the poet’s hand, or lights the flame of some great singer’s song.You are the gods of the young, the very young. You are the guardian of a million dreams.

Your every smile or frown can heal or pierce a heart. Yours are a hundred lives, a thousand lives, yours the pride of loving them, and the sorrow, too.

Your patient work, your touch, make you the gods of hope who fill their souls with dreams to make those dreams come true…” Guy Doud’s voice was strong and calm as he quoted the words penned by Clark Mollenhoff. He, if any, could utter them with conscience unashamed.

The twelve years that kids are in high school are the twelve most vulnerable years of their life. Dreams are made or broken there. Paradigms of values and self-worth are formed. A child’s place in society is clearly played out, and they discover whether they have what it takes to be loved, respected and wanted. They learn about themselves through the eyes of others. And unless someone intervenes, they will graduate with the hurts of a lifetime on their shoulders.

Dream molders are feelers. They understand that hurting kids aren’t afraid of failure. Failure is their life. It is normal for them, therefore, they can’t be motivated by the fear of it. Kids are motivated only by love.

This is why dream molders choose to see beyond the exterior, beyond the moment. A teen who others view as an obese, insecure adolescent, they see as a child who has incredible potential to change the world. Dream molders see beyond the external, beyond the mask, to the very soul of a person.  Like a diamond in the rough, muddy and crystallized, they see beyond the exterior to what it will be–a beautifully cut gem set in a band of silver or gold. An adornment of society. And they care, they care enough to invest their time, money, blood, sweat, tears and prayers into making a person become that gem. They care.  And because they care, they create change.

Dream molders? Ehh, they are an unstable and disillusioned lot. What would cause a gourmet chef to give a clumsy child free range of a kitchen–squandered resources, splattered woodwork, mounds of dirty dishes, and countless broken pots and pans notwithstanding? Is a smudgy, wobble-lined recipe book scrawled by the hand of a ten-year-old really a worthwhile result of all the hassle?

Not now, but the chef has a teacher’s heart, and she sees ahead. She sees down the road, to where the scrawling recipe book turns into seared scallops, juicy wood-smoked steaks, and countless batches of homemade cookies delivered to someone’s door. And what does the student learn? He learns that he has a gift. He learns that food can comfort the most ravaged heart. He learns that creativity and personal touch can bless far beyond words. And the teacher smiles, because she knew his amazing potential all along. But it would have been impossible for him to believe it. He needed to see it for himself.

We walk through life totally unaware of the scores of tiny mirrors who reflect the effects of our actions. I am–we all are–the guardians of a million dreams.

When will our actions become messengers of hope to fill their souls with dreams to make those dreams come true?

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