This Is How A Dream Dies

This Is How A Dream Dies

This is how a dream is sent to the grave.

A 23-year-old who just passed out of the National Youth Service Corp Scheme returns home. The first amongst his siblings to complete the scheme, he returns to a hero’s welcome. After a while, as expected, the hysteria fades. Now, he has to answer the dreaded question. A question majority of youths like him have either already provided an answer to or are daily inching closer to answering. “What are your plans for getting a job?”

A question to which a preconceived idea of what his response should sound like exists. The expected reply would go something along the lines of him explaining to them the steps he has taken thus far. How he had taken the time to meticulously craft a professional curriculum vitae. How much and how well he has done to disperse said curriculum vitae to the appropriate prospective employers of labor. And most importantly how, hopefully, the job interviews would soon start flowing in in their torrents.

However, contrary to their expectation, he responds differently. Much to their consternation, he shares with his parents, excitedly so too, this brilliant idea he has for a startup. This young man makes certain that his explanation is as lucid as it possibly can be.  He expects to receive consenting nods and encouraging smiles from the older generation, the experienced ones, as he shares. He hopes that from their wealth of experience, there would be valuable advice for him to leave with.

The sad reality, however, is that “the experienced ones”, too scared to take any risks, played it safe in their youth. Rather than encourage, they instead advise him to get his head out of the clouds and find a 9-5. They outline the many expectations and responsibilities attached to this new phase of life he is now in. They explain to him how it would not only be difficult but impossible for him to achieve any success pursuing this dream of a startup.

This is how a dream is sent to the grave.

Tired of slaving on his present job.  A job that does not provide enough for him to take good care of his family. This frustrated 37-year-old contacts his friend. He considers himself a lucky man for having an understanding wife. A nagging wife would have been the death of him. But he constantly feels bad that for all her understanding, all he has to repay her with is a life of lack and constant sacrifice.

All in the hopes of providing a better life for himself, his wife and their unborn child. He shares with this friend of his a business idea that had been brewing in his mind for a while. The advantage being that this idea would not necessarily require a huge capital to start. And the catch being they would need to be patient as the return on investment would take a while before it starts rolling in.

His friend talks him out of acting on this idea. Unknown to him, his friend was never taught how to defer instant gratification for the greater good. This friend quickly figures out all the ways things could possibly go wrong, being the pessimist that he is. He explains how this idea of his is an unnecessary risk, also a waste of time and money. He advises him to forget about this idea and use his money for other purposes.

This is how a dream is sent to the grave.

Scared of regret and terrified by the uncertainty of his future.  A 58-year-old who had struggled from his time as a youth to this point of his life decides to take one last shot at his dream. A dream he considers to have been on his mind for far too long. He shares his idea with his wife as they prepare to go to bed. She says nothing to it. He takes her silence for consent and goes to bed excited.

His wife wakes him up very early the following morning. She proceeds to bare her mind on their discussion from the previous night. She tells him it is rather too late for him to attempt such a risk. At this point in his life, his only concern should be that he has enough to sustain himself. She tells him the time for building a business is far behind him. She tells him that a business would only drain money that would have gone for his upkeep, leaving him with nothing.

And what if the business fails she asks, would he be able to cope with the pain. Would that not crush him? His mind filled with fears once again, he lets go of this thought.

And this is how another dream is sent to the grave.

A 27-year-old son, with all enthusiasm, shares with his father his idea for a business he plans to start with a friend. His father listens to him speak. His 64-year-old father remembers his 23-year-old self as he watches him speak. He remembers his parents and how they told to get his head out of the clouds when he shared his idea for a startup with them.  And also, he remembers his friend who dissuaded him from quitting his job at the age of 37 to chase after his own dreams. He also remembers how his wife warned against going into business at 59.

Armed with nothing but fears and numerous unanswered questions, he warns his son against going into business. His father thinks a well-paying job would have saved his life. Out of genuine care and concern, he advises him to get a well-paying job instead. He places serious emphasis on well-paying.

This is how a dream is sent to the grave.

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