Help Them Live Their Dream!
If You Can Help Get Them There, Do It!
Do you have a dream of doing something, or achieving a goal, and feel that you're all alone in this desire? Maybe when you mention this to others, they become naysayers and tell you you cannot do it? Or maybe you know someone who has a dream and have seen others try to cut this person down when they mention it?
Oftentimes, when that person's dream is a large or extensive one, the rest of us, either knowingly or inadvertently, try to quash it for many reasons. Some will try to stop the dream because they may be resentful of it because they are too afraid to try it themselves, or they may fear being 'bested'. Others may try to stop the dream because they love the person and mistakenly believe they are acting to protect the person with the dream, either from disappointment, physical harm, or both.
But, the quashing of one's dreams by others often backfires, especially against those who think they are protecting their loved one. The person whose dream is quashed will feel resentment and a lifetime of regret wondering if they could have lived their dream. No, it's not always so easy to let someone you love live their dream if it involves some risk, but, unless the dream is truly self destructive or foolish by any standard, (ie setting the binge drinking record or attempting to climb Mt Everest with no training or experience beforehand), we should not stand in their way, and we should help and encourage them if at all possible.
In my own experience, I'd been to the Grand Canyon several times as part of bus tours that I had taken with my folks. My mom and I like to hike. Well, after seeing the Grand Canyon, my mom decided that she wanted to go down to the bottom and stay at Phantom Ranch on a future visit.
Now, for those who don't know, Phantom Ranch is about a vertical mile lower than the canyon rim, and from late spring to early fall, daily temperatures usually exceed 100 degrees. And it is 9 miles each way from the rim to phantom Ranch.
Quite a few years passed and every so often my mom would mention this goal. And, the last time she mentioned it, she also mentioned how she was getting older. She was in her early 60s at this point. It scared me and my dad, as we both felt that it would be too much for her. My dad was not into hiking so he would definitely not be willing to do this. I liked hiking and was certainly interested in making this trip, but was afraid to have my mom go on this one, though I never really voiced my concerns, so as not to hurt my mom's feelings. I sort of did the ostrich thing and hoped it would go away.
But one day, as I was at a water aerobics class, I started to think out of the blue, about my mom's goal. And I thought about how I'd postponed some of mine, which also involved travelling and some hiking. And I realized that one only lives once, and that 'safe' doesn't always mean 'satisfied'. It can mean suffocation. So I decided right then and there that I was going to help my mom achieve her goal. I would go with her to the Grand Canyon and Phantom Ranch.
When I got home, (I was still living at home at the time) I told my mom and dad what I'd decided. My mom was delighted and, though my dad voiced his objections, I stuck to my guns. I told him that I would help my mom to get in shape, we'd do research, and that , even if she got too tired and couldn't make it all the way down to phantom Ranch, at least she would have the knowledge that she attempted her goal, which is always better than never trying and always wondering.
To get ready for the trip, we picked up a few books on the Grand Canyon, including one specifically about hiking down into the canyon. We took almost daily hikes, including ones where we wore our backpacks, to get as much simulation as possible. We had about a year's time, as, you have to book a stay at Phantom Ranch about a year to two years in advance.
Well, we went in early May, my mom made it down to Phantom Ranch and back, and we had a great time, seeing many things that the vast majority of visitors to the Grand Canyon never see. And best of all, my mom realized her dream. And I saw that , while it was a hard hike, it was easier than I'd expected, though I also saw that the preparations we'd made beforehand really paid off.
Upon coming home, I got my mom a shirt commemorating the fact that she'd made it to Phantom ranch and back.
And, we made the trip again, three years later. And my mom travels still today when she can and has more travel goals, with which I will gladly help her to achieve.