Every single person has the right to pursue happiness and to live a life of purpose and abundance, says Craig Dixon, aka Juleus Ghunta, a 24-year-old social activist and Commonwealth Correspondent from Jamaica.
At its core, D.R.E.A.M.R.I.G.H.T means that every human being has an inalienable and divine right to dream and to duly harvest the fruits of his or her honest labour.
There is no man, family or dynasty that is innately more deserving of this right than another. Each man’s foremost duty is to not only believe, understand and affirm his dreamright, but to exercise it without fear or frail affection.
If a man is deprived of his dreamright by another, he must rebel unrelentingly until he is free to pursue his ambitions. Each human is born as a blank slate – nature does not erect walls of demarcation between men.
Believing this is the first step toward appreciating your absolute relevance to history and that merely ‘existing’ is sinful, since a purposeless life defiles the spirit of an ever evolving universe.
In his book, Secrets of the Heart, Kahlil Gibran wrote: “Ambition beyond existence is the essential purpose of our being”. “The dreamers”, James Allen asserted, “are the saviors of the world”. A man without dreams is like a rootless tree, perched precariously on a hillside. He has no protection against life’s landslides; in fact, he is the landslide.
In order to exercise your dreamright, you must accept, wholeheartedly, that “there is no monopoly on anything, neither freedom, nor the making of heroes, nor dreams”. There is nothing that man has overcome, is overcoming and will overcome, that you cannot conquer within your own life.
It is your dreamright to pursue happiness and to live a life of purpose and abundance.
“The greatest tragedy in life,” quipped Dr. Myles Munroe, author of the Pursuit of Purpose, “is not death, but life without a reason… the deepest craving of the human spirit is to find a sense of significance and relevance”.
I was 12-years old when this concept first came to me. The principles of D.R.E.A.M.R.I.G.H.T have guided me through trying times, and believe me, there were many. Today I share these principles with you.
D = Dream
What is your dream? What makes you bloom like an orchid? Have the courage to dream loftily and do not be afraid to pursue what you love with all your might. Henry David Thoreau wrote in his famous book, Walden: “I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
Go in the direction of your heart, and remember the words of James Allen: “He who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his heart, will one day realize it”.
R = Right to dream
In as much as you have a right to life you have a right to dream. Do not let anyone take that right away from you. Avoid people who are eager to tell you what they think you are not good enough to do. And mull over these words of Leo Tolstoy: “We should show life neither as it is nor as it ought to be, but only as we see it in our dreams.”
E = Exercise self-control
According to late American author, Marya Mannes, “The sign of intelligent people is their ability to control their emotions by the application of reason.” Never risk missing out on your long-term goal, by over indulging in short-term pleasures. Keep your eyes on the big prize and make the necessary sacrifices to reach it.
A = Attitude/action
Renowned Motivational Speaker Les Brown likes to say that people do not get in life what they want, they get what they are. If you are going to achieve your dreams, you must first believe that it is your right to do so. Be positive and optimistic. You are the complete sum of your thoughts.
Do not take your dreams to your grave. Take steps to achieve them. Do not talk yourself out of your signature idea. The secret of success, according to Dante, is to act. One of my favourite Kahlil Gibran quotes is: “A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle”. Think about that and get moving.
M = Master your craft
Practice! If you wish to earn from your passion, you need to spend time developing it. Malcolm Gladwell, author of ‘Outliers: The Story of Success,’ said that “practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” Invest in your dream. The phenomenal Albert Einstein said that “only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.”
R = Read
In his essay, ‘How to Read,’ Marcus Garvey, Jamaica’s first national hero, encourages us to “use every spare minute (we) have to read… carry with you a small pocket dictionary and study words whilst waiting or travelling, or a small pocket volume on some particular subject. Read through at least one book every week separate and distinct from your newspapers and journals.”
The mind is like the body, it needs to be fed regularly, and with good ‘food’, in order to remain functional. Read ‘good’ books about history and your interests. Most people do not like to read, but you need to be disciplined, because the benefits are immeasurable. “The mind once stretched by an idea never returns to its original dimension” (Dr. Ben Carson, Think Big).
I = Imagination/individuality
Stay clear of any person or institution that tries to make you think, speak and behave like everyone else. Protect you uniqueness. Co-founder of the London School of Economics, George Bernard Shaw, is credited with saying that “a reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man”.
Shaw also said that imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” Be yourself at all times. Paint the world with the colours that tickle your fancy.
G = Goodwill to others
Take time to clear the way for others to realize their dreams. It is more pragmatic to live loving than living to live. Nineteenth-century African-American educator Booker T. Washington said that “If you want to lift up yourself, lift up someone else.”
H = Humility
Being humble is not the same thing as being weak. Do not confuse the two. “Pride”, late Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarskjöld wrote “humility is concerned with what is right”. Do not try to get even with your detractors; focus on getting ahead. Remember that the fingers of the universe are fickle, so be careful which bridge you burn. Stay cool.
T = Tenacity
Do not give up. Failure is a stage, not a person. In fact, American businessman Dr Randal Pinkett believes that “success is built upon a foundation of failure.” “Education,” former US president Calvin Coolidge wrote, “will not take the place of persistence; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of human race.” You may have to trudge the highlands and lowlands of life’s labyrinth to succeed, but there is no undertaking more deserving of your time. You must try and try until you get there.
Go in the direction of your dreams. Know that you have a dreamright as much as you have a right to life and only those who gallantly pursue this right will reap the fruit of its benefits and be in a position to change the world or experience its resplendent wonders.
Dream, dream, dream – change your strategy at times, but never give up on your dreams.
“I am a Jamaican social activist, ‘Dreamrighter’, transformational speaker, creator of the D.R.E.A.M.R.I.G.H.T acrostic, and two time nominee for the Prime Minister’s Youth Award for Excellence in Service.
“I grew up in a small bucolic village called Pell River, in western Jamaica. I have been to many mountain tops – seen many things, tasted many things, conquered many things.
“I studied public relations and history at the University of the West Indies, Mona. I am an intern at the moment in the Spice Isle, Grenada, working the Roving Caregivers Programme which provides early childhood stimulation for economically deprived infants and toddlers. I want to be an anthropologist, focusing on literacy, peace and reconciliation.”
Contact me at [email protected]
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/
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