The New Year provides a time for all of us to reflect on the past 12 months and look ahead to the coming year. Many of us choose to set goals that focus on some sort of improvement personally and/or professionally. Maybe we are going to exercise regularly, read the pile of books sitting on a bedside table, spend more time with family, look for opportunities to try and learn something new or embed a new routine into our daily lives. It is a moment of hope; one where we dare to dream that the coming year will be better, fuller, and richer than the past.
Last Friday during an assembly led by Michael Eatman, Director of Community Life, Upper School students had the opportunity to reflect on what constitutes a dream. Students were asked to write one of their life dreams or goals on an index card. Mr. Eatman then asked them to write on the other side what steps they needed to take to make their dream a reality.
He then showed a video of Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking about Rosa Parks’s decision to remain in her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama that began the Montgomery Bus Boycott. After they watched this powerful video, he asked students what it took to make this event happen. The students shared words such as, “Courage! Determination! Cooperation! Teamwork! Passion! Commitment! Support! Leadership! Vision!”
Mr. Eatman explained that their dreams were no different from Martin Luther King’s dream. But that along with vision and hope, the realization of a dream also takes hard work, determination, courage, teamwork, passion and commitment. He encouraged students to pursue their dreams with the same passion that great change agents in our world have pursued theirs and to share their dreams with others.
It was a powerful moment for the students and adults in the room. It was a reminder, in a time when the political rhetoric in our country is focused on fear – that the true power for change lies in dreams and hope. And that it takes work and commitment as well as the support of others to realize our dreams. This is not only an important message for our students as they begin to make choices that will shape their future lives, but for our community and country as a whole.
Parents, dare to dream and act on your passion! Ask your children what their dreams are and help them activate the passion they need to achieve them. The world needs us to raise the next generation of dreamers and visionaries.
The Pike School is an independent, coed, day school for Pre-K through ninth grade in Andover, Massachusetts. Visit pikeschool.org to learn more about Pike – and visit our blog for more thought leadership.