Why do dreams always seem to remain in the future? Not all of us are lucky to have it handed to us on a plate. Sometimes we lose vision of the dream when life takes over, or it may become blurred due to pessimistic influences. Many give up and only live in regret.
Dreams come in all shapes and sizes and can be hard to achieve. For some it comes in the form of education. For example, literacy is highly sought after by many citizens of Kenya as a way out of poverty, a way to achieve one’s dream if not just basic survival. Until 2003 education came at a price. Many people steeped in poverty have seen their academic aspirations slip away into oblivion. This type of poverty means that basic survival needs such as food, water, shelter are hard to come by. To these people education was just a farfetched dream until in 2003 when the Kenyan Government introduced free primary schooling for the population. Dreams could now become a reality.
Kimani N’gan’ga Maruge an 84 year old Kenyan took this opportunity of free education to end his illiteracy and fulfil his dream of being able to read the Bible. There was opposition from parents and teachers who could not accept an old man taking the place of a young child. Kimani persevered regardless of the negativity of those who opposed him and his persistence led him to be the first 84 year old great grandfather to return to school. In this youtube clip he talks about his motivation for returning to school.
His story is also portrayed in the film ‘The First Grader‘ directed by Justin Chadwick which was released last year.
Can we learn from Kimani? His story should inspire us to never give up on our dreams, to grab it when opportunity knocks, holding on to it and not letting go even when pessimism attacks. Kimani was optimistic, you need optimism to turn your dreams into reality, but of course be realistic about what you want to achieve. Is being realistic a contradiction? It depends. Life is complex, human beings are complex, so perhaps start simple then gauge if you are being realistic. At age 84 Kimani wanted to be a doctor but he started simple, he learned to read first. Know that the journey may not be easy, but put in the effort and you’ll receive rewards. Be passionate as this will strengthen you. Without passion it will be hard to have fulfilment. Turn that elusive dream into a reality.