The person who does not have dreams, does not live. Most of us have dreams and some people aim more for the stars than others, be it because they are naïve, because they strongly believe in themselves or because they are certain that help will come.
When I mention that the strong dreamers might be naïve it is because not every dream is achievable. When a sweet, short and fat teenage girl dreams of becoming the next Naomi Campbell in an industry where models are the results of body standards and fierce attitude, well, it is naïve of her to believe that she could break all rules and win. There have been some rule breakers, of course, but one cannot count that every exception will start making the rule.
As for the optimists and hard workers, those who are certain that a decent degree, foreign languages and a positive approach to life can move mountains, well, I think it could move mountains, but it not always does. Reasons for that can be many like recession, wrong time and wrong place, karma… If the recipe for success was so simple ‘just be positive and work hard’ then the number of extremely successful people would be much higher today (of course that we don’t want children reading this, otherwise what is the point of school?).
Those who are against all odds and think that divine help will come as a pay-back for the life’s good deeds, they could get extremely disappointed. Life is a journey, a wheel, and being on the bottom is as certain as being on the top once in a while. There is nothing that God can do about it. It is all part of the game. Being at the bottom is when we mature and become creative.
There are also some people who think that help might come not necessarily from God, but from the government, or Men, because a government is nothing more than a group of Men dealing for other Men. Being a Brazilian I never really counted on the government for nothing unlike North Americans and Europeans do. When I first moved to Germany back in 1998 I was surprised to see how highly the citizens rely on the government. When they don’t get the help they need, when needed, if needed, they are lost and miserable because they could never think that the government could disappoint, even deceive them that way. There is only rage and blankness.
What happens then to a failed dream, no matter what expectations people had? What happens to “In God we trust”? For that one I could only speculate that some religion crisis would follow and a lot of questioning would happen, but whether a disappointment coming from a faith-related action could be overcome, it is highly personal. See Eugene O’Neill. He grew up in Catholic faith and even attended a Catholic school, but when he found out that his mother was addicted to drugs and that she indirectly put the blame on him for just being born, he stopped attending church services. Some severe questioning must have taken place. Why him? Why his mother? From what I have been reading, O’Neill never really quit spirituality, but he found another way to try to understand it: through psychology. Yes, it is a science, but it can be linked to God, too. Trying to understand all reasons why things and people are the way they are, it can take a lot from God’s fault away.
For those counting on the help from the government to fulfil their dreams, here there is little that psychology could do to ease to pain of disappointment. The state was supposed to help with social mobility, human dignity and a healthy economy, but citizens are left alone when they need them. In this particular topic I find it typical American because they are the kings of fat promises when the contents of that promises are so thin. Take an advertisement of a Big Mac. It looks delicious, hearty and fresh. When you actually buy one the reality is a meagre sandwich just looking sad. It fills you up for half an hour; let’s say, but then you’ll need more. It is deceiving. Advertisement for enlisting in the army is another no-no. They talk about all the advantages of serving the country, talk about honour and possible glory, but no one ever mentions the disgrace that it is to fight in the worst-case scenarios.
Counting so badly in the government isn’t a bit naïve? My German husband says ‘of course not’, but I would rather not have to depend on them. Life is the survival of the fittest and for that one must act alone, without counting on third party help. Of course that help is welcome and even hoped for, but it should not be expected.
Depression (with all its symptoms), criminality (with all its variations), carelessness towards others (with all its depths) and revenge (with all its degrees of fury) are the things to could happen to those whose dreams were denied. In Paul Green’s The House of Connelly, for example, one variation of the last scene is when Patsy Tate (daughter of a tenant farmer) is beaten to death by the Big Sue and Big Sis (negro field women). They could not accept that some one close to them had had the possibility for upward mobility through hard work plus marriage and they did not. They were black and women so upward social mobility was something that they could not dream at that point. Knowing that, they took revenge for Geraldine and Evelyn Connelly, who at the end left the house because their brother had married Patsy. First their financial situation was not improved despite her brother’s promises, and second they refused to mix with people lower than them by birth. Someone had to pay. Not the government, not God, but Patsy was to blame for the denial of Negro ambitions/dreams and for the end of the dream of William Connelly’s sisters (allowed to dream) of being the only persons with whom William would share his eventual success in the fields. They did not include Patsy in the dream. The first variation of the play’s end is a bestial one that shows that one should never underestimate the power of jealousy. The second end, the happy one, William does not go after his sisters, stays with Patsy (avoiding the blood shed) and demands that the servants start respecting and obeying Patsy as their superior, no longer their equal. This is a more political end, I believe, because this one gives people hope.
Either way, when a dream is stopped for one reason or another, the outcome is hardly positive. The scar will be forever in the soul, in the psychic or in the skin. Having said that, we should ‘prepare for the worst and hope for the best’ because nobody is responsible for anybody’s life – we alone are responsible for our lives. Thus, there should be no one to blame.