I hope we all have a dream. For some, it might be a simple one: a place of one's own, a farm--with rabbits (like the one Lenny and George had in Of Mice and Men). Perhaps, it's more of an Edenic tale, that brings us back to the place we were born--restores us to the place of our ancestry, a seeming paradise. Or, maybe we have faith that humankind will someday be kinder, gentler or more open to the color of one's skin (Martin Luther King Jr).
Some literary works depict the degradation of the American Dream, the loss of innocence (like The Great Gatsby). It makes us wonder if a dream is even possible.
I have to believe that some dreams--however impossible--are still worth dreaming. I dream that some day, a child will ask, "What's cancer?" And, my son (who spent those early years fighting it) will be able to say, "It was terrible... but it's gone for good!"
I wish and dream that we could all look beyond the color of skin, and see instead something of heart and character--all that lies beneath the scars on the surface. I dream that some of the greatest haters of literature will become the greatest lovers, preaching the gospel of literacy and bibliomania.
We talk about libraries closing and the inaccessibility of books, but I dream of a day when books can be found in every home, where every parent reads to their children at bedtime, and children fall asleep, dreaming that all the passages from literature have come alive. It sounds like a pipedream--imagine that a Pied Piper could lead us to such a place...
Perhaps the most tragic part of all those dreams is that--in thinking that those dreams are impossible--we don't take any steps toward the parts of those dreams that are possible. We can support a library. We can volunteer for a literacy program. We can read to our children. We can make a dent, however small. And, we can look past the hatred and pain that we see in the eyes of others--to see something of who they are.
If our experience with literature teaches us anything, I hope that we can remember: "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... until you climb into his skin." We can't judge a book by its cover; nor can you judge a person by the capacity they have for reading books (and/or enjoying them)--perhaps they've just never experienced the "right" life-altering book...