Today, a friend of mine posted a status update on Facebook about the importance of refraining from criticizing the dreams of others. This is an important lesson. Dreams are fragile. They are often unconventional – no one dreams of a typical office job.
Because they are unconventional, dreams tend to entail a degree of risk, and it is easy to feel foolish for believing we can beat the odds and succeed. Unless we dream of something blatantly reckless or dangerous, what we need from loved ones is support. The reflexive response when someone tells us about their dreams might be to point out all the ways it could fail. This could be out of genuine concern for the person’s well-being, or it could be because, if we haven’t followed our own dreams, we become defensive when others consider taking that risk.
Whatever the case, it is not appropriate to criticize another person’s nascent dreams. In these early stages of dream development, it does not take much for us to become discouraged from pursuing something out of the ordinary. Yes, our dreams might fail. And certainly there are lessons to be learned and challenges to take into account. But as we try to nourish our dreams and help them bloom, what we need from loved ones is support and encouragement.