By Juliet Rogers,
Dream is a concept that has multifaceted interpretations. Macmillan Advanced Learners Dictionary, International Students Edition defines dream as “something you experience in your mind while you are sleeping.” This definition is literal or ordinary. This means, it is the basic understanding of dream. It means dream has something to do with sleep and our sleep patterns.
The scientific understanding of dream also agrees and conceptualises dream into sleep. Scientists believe there are four stages of sleep, and all the stages are different. The first stage is transitional, which falls between being awake and thoroughly asleep. This stage takes you to stage two, in which you go into normal sleep. Stage three is connected with normal sleep. A deepest sleep comes just after this stage; it is a period of good sleep. At this stage, one feels refreshing which is required for a healthy growth of every human being.
In 1952, scientists discovered that during certain points of the night our eyes move about within our closed eyelids. During this period, it appears we are tracing imaginary moving objects with our eyes. It is at this time in our sleep we experience a dream. Therefore, scientists are with the opinion that dreaming is important to humans. They equally believe babies use half of their time in sleep, dreaming. Scientists conclude that most mammals, including birds and reptiles dream too while asleep. This is a literal concept of dream. In this literal sense of dream, one could have a dream experiencing frightening things. Such a dream is a nightmare, but dream can oppose nightmare to be good.
However, dream can be understood beyond this ordinary sense. Dream is considered to exist without sleeping. Symbolically, dream could mean something good you hope you’ll have or achieve in the future. This means a success, whether educational, economic, cultural, or political is achieved when it is preconceived. A parent may have a dream of seeing his child as a medical doctor, or a barrister at law, or an engineer, or a journalist. This will lead that parent to prepare himself and work towards achieving his plan for his child. It means both literal dream which depend on sleep and the symbolic dream are related. A literal dream, once interpreted, keeps people on the achievement of the good message and perverting the bad one.
Symbolically too, when life dreams, life objectives are set, one is required to work towards the achievement of the content of what one has set. So, in short, dream is a goal or life objective that is set to be achieved by an individual or group of individuals. However, if dreams refer to the goals of life, what then are the requirements that can help us to achieve our dreams? What kind of dreams should we have?
In the Book of Genesis, Joseph dreamed of a harvest field where his sheaf stood while the sheaves of his brothers gathered around his sheaf and bowed down to it. He also dreamed he saw the sun, moon and the eleven stars bowing down to him. These dreams signified leadership awaiting Joseph and God had already slated him to govern his people. God and Joseph worked to achieve this divine life goal.
Similarly, King Pharaoh’s dream about seven fat cows and seven lean hungry looking cows, signifying years of plenty, closely followed by a season of terrible famine was a way of informing the Egyptian Pharaoh how things will happen in the future. This situation saw Joseph emerging as governor of Egypt to work on a scheme that will help them with maintenance of the available food stuff for the entire country.
These illustrations justify readiness to set goals for the future, and the achievements of those goals.
For symbolic dreams to be achieved, though they may have divine support, there should be reasonable and profitable intentions and productivities to both the individual and the community. Before major political activities, political aspirants read their manifestos – the things they intend to do if elected; to the public, potential electorates. This goes in line with their desires and aspirations. The failure of a nation feeding itself, which is seen as a felt need of the electorates, it becomes the dream of the politicians. A farmer on the other hand may develop a dream of achieving excellent harvest, a student dreams of academic successes, a trader sets the objective of realising huge financial profit that can expand his business.
When dreams are big, the dreamer or the person who sets the goal of life does not achieve it alone. Certainly, he needs other people in his dream world, if he is to achieve that set goal.
There is no way a student who sets a goal of academic success would achieve it alone; he needs teachers and friends, he must abide by rules and regulations guiding the institution such as punctuality, attention, attendance, doing assignments, taking tests and exams and so on. Without the help of these persons and the student doing the necessary things, he will fail to achieve his dream.
For example, where a youth who could not acquire elitist type of education recognises another dream of becoming an auto-technician, or a carpenter, or a painter, that youth, all by himself, will not be able to achieve any of those dreams unless he schools himself into a vocational institution or apprenticeship to someone who is knowledgeable or versatile in the trade he has recognised. Doing so will require the person to go by the dictates of the vocational institution he enrols himself into or the master he finds himself.
A student stands to be expelled from a learning institution if he blatantly continues to violate rules and regulations of the institution he attends. In the same token, a president of a nation may face impeachment when he begins to do the contrary. So, without others, dreams are not realised. This is part of the discipline, necessary in meeting life’s dreams or goals. Therefore, if discipline is ignored, one may fail to achieve the goals of life.
When a nation develops a national dream, everyone is important, no one man can do it, no matter how one is powerful. Therefore, everyone is important. Always kick out segregation and marginalization, for they’ll not help in working towards realization of national dreams – no tribalism, no discrimination, no interference of secret cults. A child is aided by the parents to actualize dreams that can transform him into a resourceful person. No one man can realize a dream without the help of other actors; it is concerted effort. Hence, everyone is important. Failure to inject the effort of others, the dream can result into a failure, which makes one to sit back and realize that one has been in a dream world, thinking of things that are not achievable, because he has expelled others from taking him to his dream.
Juliet Rogers is a Societal Engineer, Life&Emotional Intelligence Coach.