Fate is a capricious mistress…we don’t know from where our destiny stems…

With some people luck seems to ride upon their shoulders 

While with others…misfortune follows them.


What follows is the story of a man to whom fate has been unkind…

It’s as if to a life of misfortune he has been confined.


Without going into details…his life’s been filled with sorrow and heartache and pain…

but every time life knocks him down…he gets back up again.


He stands up tall…massages his wounds…and after a little while

amidst his sorrow and his sadness…he finds a reason to smile.


A good friend once asked him, “How do you do it?

How do you not let your sorrow show?

Is there a secret to your happiness…if so…please let me know.


His answer was a simple one…nothing too extreme…

He said, “The key to my happiness has always been in my ability to dream.”


“After a dream’s come true or has been shattered…what I’ve always found redeeming…

Is the happiness that exists in the simple act of dreaming.”


“When fate hands my dream a disappointment and I feel I’m losing my self-esteem…

as I watch the dream before me fade away…I just dream another dream.”


“When a dream is over…good or bad…I’ll take a moment to rejoice…or cry

then I remind myself there are as many dreams as there are stars up in the sky.”


“And I’ll choose another star to dreams on…and if that star leads to a scar…

I look back to the heavens…and choose another star.”


“I guess what keeps me happy.” He said, “is when each day is through…

I’m not counting all my dreams that have been shattered…

I’m counting all my dreams that have come true.”

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Sometimes I think where we end up in life…how high we go…how far…

can be symbolized not only by the family tree…but by the family car.


For me it started with my parents driving our family station wagon…it’s interior painted black….Where my initial dreams were fashioned…while riding in the back.


My first dreams consisted of a more egocentric point of view…

dreams made just for me…I hoped one day would come true.


Then one day my dreams became less conceptual….less fantasy…more real…

The day I went from riding in the back and got behind the wheel.


By now I was married driving a mini-van…with an interior painted black…

Wondering what my children were dreaming about while riding in the back.


I remember the moment they were born…how I closed my and wished they’d have a happy and healthy life…free from danger…free from heartache…free from sadness…free from strife.


And how I began to drive more carefully keeping my wife and children in my rearview…

my dreams now much more focused on helping their dreams to come true.


And from a place in the back of my heart and mind…a place no one else could see…

I dreamed of the life my children would be living and the people they would be.


Having much more driving experience…I knew what was best for them…at least that’s what I believed…until they got behind the wheel and my vision was replaced by the vision they conceived.


And I gladly shed my dreams for theirs…they transformed quite easily…because, looking back, that is exactly what my parents did for me.


I realized, as my parents realized, the dangers and sadness of life I can’t keep them from averting…and the best I can do when they’re sad is to stand beside them while they’re hurting.


As they continue driving…on their journey…as their own dreams they pursue…

I am happy to sit back, smile…realizing my original dream has come true.


That even though I can’t protect them form heartache, sadness and strife…

our children have been able to live a healthy and happy life.


For they know on whatever path their dreams may take them….

whenever the road ahead is painted black…

If they look in their rear view mirror 

they’ll see me riding in the back.

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They had the same routine every night before he went to bed…his dad would read him a book, tuck him in…then this is what he said:


“May this be the best night you’ve ever had my son of any night so far…may your dreams be filled with wonder as you play among the stars.”


One morning he awoke with a smile on his face…remembering the dream he had…and he quickly ran to the breakfast table so he could tell his dad.


“Dad! Dad! It finally happened!” he yelled…”I dreamt I played among the stars…

in all my dreams this was the best dream I’ve ever had…by far.


In fact I flew right by Venus and Jupiter…stopping on Mars instead…

and when I told her I thought she was beautiful…boy did she turn red.


Then I sat for a little while and dangled my feet off of the crescent moon…

listening to the constellation Lyra as she played a pretty tune.


As I sat there on the moon I began to feel hotter and hotter and hotter

so I picked up the big dipper and asked Aquarius for some water.


I played fetch with Canis Major and Minor…oh how good it felt…

until Orion told me if I didn’t stop…he’d be taking off his belt.


I spent some time with the North Star…of all the stars he’s the politest 

and I talked a lot with Sirius..because he is, of course…the brightest.


I even rode a shooting star and you might find this hard to understand

but when I woke up in my bed this morning…I found this stardust in my hand.


His father smiled at his son’s excitement…then said, son, come with me

there’s something I’ve been holding onto I think it’s time for you see.


He opened up a drawer in his bedroom saying. “I too have flown among the stars…

then reaching into the drawer…he pulled out an old and weathered jar.


In here is stardust I’ve saved all these years…as hard to believe as it may seem

but when I was your age…years ago…I had a similar dream.


I suggest you keep your stardust with you always…he said handing his son a jar..

to be shared with your children…the morning after…they play among the stars.


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Growing up he wanted to the smartest kid in class…he wanted his mental capacity to rule…he wanted people to whisper as he walked by…there goes the smartest kid in school.


And, although he was a good learner, so much of what he learned he soon forgot…so as far as being the smartest…he definitely was not.


He was going to be a football star…he dreamed of the sports world knowing his name…he dreamed of lifting the trophy over his head…he dreamed of fortune and he dreamed of fame..


But one has to have certain skills to play football…skills this young boy lacked…so he never made it on a football team…let alone its quarterback.


He wanted to be an astronaut…when he put on his uniform he wanted women to swoon…he wanted the world to proudly watch…as he stood upon the moon.


But he would get all nervous when confined in a small place…and he got sick in the back of a car…who knows what would happen in outer space.


He wanted to be a doctor…a surgeon…a surgeon better than all the rest…the surgeon people called when the surgeon they needed was the best.


But all that studying…all those years of schooling…he knew, for him, would not be easy…and even the slightest drop of blood always made him queasy.


So he found his way to teaching…to help others who forget…who might have trouble with a quiz…who perhaps aren’t as athletic…who had problems similar to his.


And though he never thought himself the best teacher…he was as happy as can be

Teaching his students:

You don’t have to be the best…just be the best that you can be.


A lesson to this day as a teacher…he continues to spread….

Happily living a life he didn’t choose…

a life that chose him instead.

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When we were younger and we’d dream…Debrah and I would agree on what size and shape and color…our perfect house would be.


It would be a bungalow with room for our family…and more…the kitchen would be big and modern…there’d be bedrooms on the second floor.


There’d be a huge yard for our children…with a garden that would bloom in Spring…

A porch would stretch the entire length…with rocking chairs…and a swing.


Our first house was not a bungalow…but we felt it’s bones were strong…and we thought it’d be a great place to start…until our dream house came along.


It was a cozy little house with oak trees on the land…but it turns out saving up for our dream house was not as easy as we planned.


We realized quite early…as I’m sure many of you can relate…with children to feed and bills to pay…our dream house would have to wait.


Something was always breaking or there was something else we needed to buy…and so a year…and then another…and then another year went by.


Our children started growing…we were following an old familiar theme……and it seemed the dream house we first dreamed of…would forever remain a dream.


But we grew to love our house and neighborhood…it’s been our home…our haven…our retreat…our children grew up playing in this yard…riding their bikes along this street.


This house has seen us through all our dramas…every comedy…every tragedy…it’s where our children learned to laugh and love…it’s where we built our family.


Life is often unpredictable…for the more we live…the more it seems…happiness is just a matter…of rearranging dreams.


Because now we wouldn’t dream of living in any other house…

but this house…

the house we’ve grown into…

It turns out our dream house wasn’t the house we dreamed about…

It’s the house where our dreams came true.

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“Think of your dreams like feathers.” the old man said…

The young boy asked him…why.

“Because the more feathers we have”, the old man smiled,

“The better chance we have to fly.




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When I was young and innocent…while life was still brand knew

as it is with children….my dreams were young and innocent too…


They were straightforward, unsophisticated and simple

They were childlike and free…

And they were a little egotistical because…they all revolved around me.


When I was given to dreaming…the things I wanted…

the who I would become…

I never asked myself the question: Where do dreams come from?


You see I dreamt from a comfortable bed…

in a cozy house…with a happy family.

I never dreamed there could be people who dreamed from a different place than me.


I dreamed of getting ice cream when the ice cream truck came down my street…

I never dreamed there were other children who had no food to eat.


I dreamed of getting new clothes…the latest fashions anywhere.

I never dreamed there were other children who had no clothes to wear.


I dreamed of a bigger house. I thought ours was much too small.

I never dreamed there were other children who had no house at all.


My dreams were filled with joy and laughter…and moments in the sun.

I never dreamed, the dreams I dreamed…weren’t dreamt by everyone!


My dreams have changed over the years…that should come as no surprise…

for as we grow a little older and wiser…we see the world through different eyes.


Now…I dream of a world at peace…where love and kindness shine…

Where every child born today…can have dreams similar to mine.


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It’s funny how our dreams change as we grow older…

For instance…as a little girl or guy we sometimes dream what it’d be like

to be a butterfly.


In our early stage of metamorphosis it’s hard for us to see

the who we will become…the kind of butterfly we’ll be.


But when we watch a caterpillar enter its chrysalis

and emerge a butterfly….

We begin to question the world around us

we ask Who, What, Where and Why…


And when we begin to realize this world around us

is not always as it seems…

we begin to wonder…and…we begin to dream.


What if we could change completely when the winter turned to spring?

What if we were colorful?

What if we had wings?


What if with a mere flap of our wings we could fly from flower to flower with ease?

What if when we spread them wide…we could float upon the breeze?


Dreams like these are fun when we are young

but along the way our life gets realigned

and as we navigate our different paths we leave our butterfly dreams behind.


Then something wonderful happens when we reach a certain age…

around the time our metamorphosis nears it’s final stage.


We begin to slow down a little. 

We find enjoyment in every moonlit night, 

in every new sunrise

and we remember a time when we were caterpillars

dreaming of butterflies.

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When his dream was shattered

he couldn’t understand how his life…once filled with comedy

Had changed course overnight and become a tragedy


So he traveled to the wise one and asked her,

when it comes to dreams…what wisdom could she impart….

“Your dreams,” she said with a smile, “are a blending of your mind…

your soul…

your heart.”


“There are three things to remember about dreams that apply to everyone…

even you.

The first is you must have a dream if that dream is ever to come true.


The second, when it comes to dreaming, is this reality

No dream, no matter how magnificent…comes with a guarantee.


The third thing you need to remember in this life as you wander through 

is to never stop your dreaming because your last dream didn’t come true.


For it would truly be a tragedy if for the rest of your nights and days


you never knew true happiness was just a dream away.

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