What would we do without them, the dreamers among us? Not daydreamers, or those who “wish upon a star” for a different world but wish is all they do. I mean those who believe things can change, be different – and then do something about it.
Two contemporaries who come to mind are men I have met in recent books: Greg Mortensen in “Three Cups of Tea” and Dr. Paul Farmer in “Mountains Beyond Mountains.” Mr. Mortensen got lost climbing down a mountain in Pakistan and has been building schools over there ever since.
Dr. Farmer encountered the ugliest of poverty in the hills of Haiti, built a medical clinic there and founded Partners in Health, which has been more than a significant healing presence in the aftermath of the earthquake in Port au Prince. Both men readily qualify as two of the best among us.
Dreaming dreams is something most of us do. Doing something about them is, unfortunately, another matter. Some who try have a way of capturing our imaginations, making us believe a particular dream can come true. Unfortunately, one quickly learns there is a vast difference between selling dreams and making them happen.
A year ago last November Americans voted for a dreamer who told us change could happen in our nation’s capital – not only that it could happen, but that it had to happen.
Well over a year later, that dream that collected enough votes to begin to make it happen lies shredded on the floor of a screamingly partisan Congress.
As a result, many Americans are not alone in feeling disappointed and frustrated at what is going on in Washington – some believing our government is sicker than our economy.
Going in, our dreamer/president knew our economy was gasping for breath, that Washington was corrupt with vested interests and change on many levels was imperative. Belief in change was what he sold us and what enough of us bought to get him elected. Little did we know he would seem like a toothpick roaring down the Colorado River, believing he could take out Hoover Dam.
After President Jimmy Carter’s experiences in D.C., I told myself that Washington was no place for dreamers; that those who believe in true democracy (or as close to “true” as it can get) can make it happen only in their dreams or, as in President Carter’s case, in his own actions.
Some say what is happening these days in our nation’s capital is democracy in action, but I keep asking myself, “Why doesn’t it feel like that?”
Voters elect their president, senators and representatives to work for a better America and the American peoples’ best interests.
What is so complicated about that? What in fact are the roadblocks to Democrats, Republicans and Independents working together to make the dreams of our Founding Fathers feel like they are still coming true?
The present nightmare of blatant partisanship in our government – the abuses of power, greed and ego – does nothing to honor the vision this nation is still working to fulfill – the vision our president gave voice to throughout his campaign. Pundits are saying he is losing that voice, that his dreams will never work.
They may be right about his dreams, but his voice deserves a full hearing. I, for one, am still listening.