By Shannon Burns
There is so much that we can learn from children. In particular, their ability to dream big without being fazed by skepticism is admirable, and something that we sometimes lose with age. Children usually don’t think in terms of impossibility or probability, but rather tend to think that everything and anything is possible. If they want to achieve something, they have every intention of doing so. The concept of something being impossible is not one that children accept, but defy. Childhood is a time of life in which the world seems to be full of endless possibilities, rather than considerable limits. And then we grow up.
As we age, we become accustomed to the world around us, to “reality.” We learn what the rational and practical avenues are to pursue, and the ones in which the odds tend to be against us. We can fall victim to that skepticism that we once ignored, and lose sight of what we really want for ourselves. As we get older, we don’t always hold onto the dreams that we had as children. Our hopes and ambitions can morph with our experiences in life, sometimes drastically, sometimes minimally. But the dreams themselves aren’t necessarily what a person should hold onto. It is the belief and confidence that we can achieve whatever we put our minds to that should be maintained, but unfortunately that tends to get lost along the twists and turns of life. Our hesitations are in great part a result of our fear of failure. This fear is one that many children don’t even consider. Now, the understanding of the potential consequences of our actions is an important ability that we gain over time. But the possibility that things won’t work out shouldn’t stop us from trying. We shouldn’t let the obstacles that we face and barriers that we see make us pull back.
As we go through life at Holy Cross we are trying to figure out what we want to do and who we want to be, and it is important to think about pursuing what makes us happy. We need to remember that the child in us would do whatever his or her heart desired, even if it meant taking the road less traveled by. Life is too short to succumb to the realistic choice, rather than the fulfilling one. These could turn out to be one and the same, although they might not be. Muhammad Ali once said, “Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” So try to take on the mindset of a child; dare to do the impossible! You will probably find that the impossible can easily become the possible.