It is said that success is a journey, and not a destination, consequently any achievement you have had in your life to date day should be seen as the vehicle towards other avenues of success. Today you may be filled with questions regarding your future, questions such as, where do I go from here? What does the future hold? How do I prepare for the challenges which lie ahead? They are all credible questions, which must be given a substantial answer. Some of the very questions you face today were faced by a young man back in the spring of 2001, a young man who just months before had packed his belongings and left his homeland in search of a higher purpose. Today I call him by the name of Dream. Dream came to this country with no money to enroll in classes; all Dream had was a slip which told him he was admitted to study at a community college. This was a new experience for Dream, as Dream never thought that college would be a possibility.
You see, Dream never graduated high school, in fact, throughout most of his high school career he was placed on academic probation, but something inside of him told him that he still had a purpose. In time, Dream pooled the necessary financial resources together in order to pay for his first semester of college expenses. In the first two years of this experience, Dream realized that the road was not easy. Dream applied himself in ways he never had before, and with the encouragement of professors, family and friends, he was able to excel in school beyond that which he ever imagined. Dream found friends with whom he could study, and quickly learned that in order to be successful, he had to be willing to make sacrifices.
Dream learned a lot in just two years. Dream learned of the sorrow that accompanied loss, especially when he heard his beloved cousin got murdered, but Dreamed pressed on. For the first time in years, Dream did not get the remarkable opportunity to celebrate Christmas, and birthdays with his family, they were miles away. Dream had to face the hardships of a new country, and learning to relate to a new circle of individuals, but Dream pressed on. In college, Dream struggled in the areas of Mathematics, and so many times wanted to give up, but every time the defeated mentality came his way, he remembered the words of Henry Longfellow, which states:
“The heights by great men reached and kept Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night.”
Equipped with those words, Dream pressed on. Just two years after his first enrollment in college, Dream stood tall as the designated speaker at the graduation ceremony to receive his Associate of Arts degree. Dream was elated, yet humbled by the fact that he had never before walked across a stage to receive a diploma. The tears welled up in the eyes of Dream and he realized right there, that nothing was out of reach. Despite loss, despite struggles, despite missed opportunities, HOPE was still alive. I am Dimitri Lyon, and the story of Dream is my story. My story despite many hardships is one of success and not defeat, it’s one of happiness and not sadness. Sure life placed many obstacles before me, but I chose to remain positive and determined in the face of adversity. That is what being and having a dream is all about. Today you stand at a crossroads in life, and I am here to tell you that the road is going to be rough, and the challenges are going to come, but I am confident that you are built to overcome them. Just like me, you have dreams on the inside waiting to come to fruition, but you worry about rugged road ahead. I want to encourage you to continue to dream. You also represent the dreams of those before you. You represent the dreams of your parents, and the hope of this nation. You represent the commitment of your teachers, and the grandest of your generation.
Equipped inside you is the foundation upon which the future of this great nation and the hopes of tomorrow will be erected. So my friends I encourage you to continue to dream. Dream without restraint, you may have been defeated before, but dream anyway. Dream, and dream in spite of. Dream in spite of the fact that you dreamed before and became disappointed, dream in spite of the fact that you cannot see within the now the possibility of your dream coming to fruition. Dream when others tell you it’s impossible, dream when life gives you a hard blow, dream when the finances are low, dream when the finances are high. Dream when you lay in bed at nights and cry because you have been hurt so many times before, dream when your tomorrow seems like a distant hope. NEVER STOP DREAMING. Your dreams will be fulfilled because you never gave up on them. Dreams constitute the fuel which drives our world, without dreams we perish not only as individuals but as a people.
Adversities will come, but press on. I am confident that someone reading this blog today that person who is a great mother, a great father, a great brother, a great sister. Someone reading this today is perhaps the person who will discover our next greatest feat in science, become the next great entrepreneur, the next world leader, or the next best writer.
You, yes you, compose the great puzzle which is our world. Each and every one of you out there is a piece of that puzzle and without you, our world will never be complete. There is only one you and no one else can do that which was destined for you to do.
I would like to share with you a quote by Marianne Williamson:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
© Dimitri Lyon and dimitrilyon.wordpress.com, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dimitri Lyon and dimitrilyon.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.