If the Dream Is Big Enough
A school was across the street from our home and I would often watch the kids from my window as they played basketball. One day, among the children a girl attracted me. She seemed so small as she muscled her way through the crowd of boys. Running circles around the other kids, she managed to shoot jump shots just over their heads and into the net with on one to stop her. Sometimes, I saw her play alone. She would practice dribbling and shooting over and over again, until dark.
One day I asked her why she practiced so much. Without hesitation, she said, "I want to go to college. The only way I can go is if I get a scholarship. If I were good enough, I would get a scholarship. I like basketball. My Daddy told me if the dream is big enough, the facts don't count." Then she smiled and ran towards the court to go on practice.
I watched her through junior high and into high school. Every week, she led her varsity team to victory. One day in her senior year, I saw her sitting in the grass, head cradled in her arms. I went over there and sat down beside her. Quietly I asked her what was wrong. "Oh, nothing," She replied softly. "I am just too short." The coach told her that at 5'5"she would probably never get to play for a top ranked college team — much less be offered a scholarship — so she should stop dreaming about college.
She was heartbroken and I felt my own throat tighten as I sensed her disappointment. I asked her if she had talked to her dad about it yet. She told me that her father said those coaches were wrong. They did not understand the power of a dream. He told her that if she really wanted to play for a good college, if she truly wanted a scholarship, that nothing could stop her except one thing — her own attitude. He told her again, "If the dream is big enough, the facts don't count."
The next year, as she and her team went to the Northern California Championship game, she was seen by a college recruiter, and was offered a full scholarship, to a NCAA women's basketball team. She was going to college, which she had dreamed of and worked toward for all those years.
It's true: If the dream is big enough, the facts don't matter.
Permission to Fail
Each of us fails from time to time. If we are wise, we accept these failures as a necessary part of the learning process. But all too often as parents and teachers we deny this same right to our children. We tell them that failure is something to be ashamed of, that nothing but top performance will meet with our approval.
When I see a child subject to this kind of pressure, I think of Donnie, my youngest third-grader，he was a shy, nervous perfectionist. His fear of failure kept him from classroom games that other children played with joyous abandon. He seldom answered questions — he might be wrong. Written assignments, especially math, reduced him to nail-biting frustration. He seldom finished his work because he repeatedly checked with me to be sure he hadn't made a mistake.
I tried my best to build his self-confidence. But nothing changed until midterm, when Mary Anne, a student teacher, was assigned to our classroom. She was young and pretty, and she loved children. My pupils, Donnie included, adored her. But even enthusiastic, loving Mary was baffled by this little boy who feared of making mistake.
Then one morning we were working math problems at the blackboard. Donnie had copied the problems with painstaking neatness and filled in answers for the first row. Pleased with his progress, I left the children with Mary Anne and went for art materials. When I returned, Donnie was in tears. He'd missed the third problem.
Mary looked at me in despair. Suddenly her face brightened. From the desk we shared, she got a canister of pencils.
"Look, Donnie," she said, kneeling beside him and gently lifting the tear-stained face from his arms. She placed the pencils on his desk.
"See these pencils, Donnie?" she continued. "They belong to Mrs. Lindstrom and me. See how the erasers are worn? That's because we make mistakes too, lots of them. But we erase the mistakes and try again. That' what you must learn to do, too."
She kissed him and stood up. "Here," she said, "I'll leave one pencil to you so you'll remember that everybody makes mistakes, even teachers." Donnie looked up with love in his eyes and just a glimmer of a smile.
The pencil became Donnie's prize. That, together with Mary Anne's frequent encouragement and unfailing praise for even Donnie's small successes, gradually persuaded him that it's all right to make mistakes — s long as you erase them and try again.
Full sail in spring wind
The youth have a wonderful time, brand--new life and promising future.
Try to face life positively, believe in yourself, be yourself and control yourself. Face the reality courageously and fight the difficulties. Strive to improve all-around qualities and build healthy and perfect personalities.
Have the courage to pursue your dreams, inspire yourself with great ideals, and motivate yourself with high spirits. Let’s look forward to having a brilliant future!