The Treasure of DreamingOctober 24th
Beatrice Delap is a nine-year-old little girl living in Britain and attending Meridian Primary School. She wrote a letter to a fictional character, the irrepressible Captain Jack Sparrow of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, asking for his help in staging a mutiny against her teachers. Against all odds that letter not only found its way to the eyes of Johnny Depp, the actor who portrays Captain Sparrow, but also convinced him that he should pay a visit to Beatrice’s school in full pirate costume to meet the author. The visit was delightful fun for Beatrice and her entire class (see wobbly video below), something they can fondly remember for years to come and a concrete example in their lives that dreams can come true. All because one little girl decided to write a letter.
As we grow older and leave childhood behind, we certainly gain a great many things. The freedom to explore and express ourselves, exposure to the full range of human ideas and philosophies, an ever-increasing reserve of life experience and wisdom, these are all natural rewards that come with maturity.
All too often though, we also lose some things along the way. The people in our lives, society in general, they can bombard us with ideas of what we should think and how we should act. Many of the finer qualities inherent in the innocence of youth can be broken apart and worn away by a jaded, cynical world. It is important to occasionally remind ourselves of how full of possibility and wonder that world seemed when we were young.
Beatrice is still young enough to have the power to dream, to believe that anything is possible, that life can be joyful, hopeful, and free. Her mind has not yet been filled with all the voices that can drag the rest of us down, that tell us “Don’t waste your time on such foolishness,” or “What’s the point? It won’t make any difference.” This is such a critical quality to have at all ages, the knowledge that life can be what you make of it and that dreams really can come true. It is so easy to lose sight of, especially for adults who are constantly told they should “know better.”
A child hasn’t been saddled with all the negativity and doubt most adults have absorbed from a lifetime of being told that dreaming is for fools and leads to nothing but disappointment. It is undeniably true that young Beatrice’s letter could have easily sat forgotten in a mountain of fan mail, or been quickly scanned and thrown away by an indifferent secretary, or even made it all the way to Mr. Depp but failed to make any impression on him. Her chances were not great. It is also undeniably true that had Beatrice not written in the first place there wouldn’t have been any kind of chance. Her dream gave the world an opportunity to respond to that dream, an opportunity that would not have existed if she had simply thought, “Why bother writing, it’s just a waste of time.”
This is why dreaming is such an important thing to keep alive in adulthood. “You can’t win if you don’t play the game.” The things we dream and imagine, the goals we wish for and set for our lives, are of the utmost importance no matter how unlikely they seem. It is in the very act of dreaming and allowing ourselves to hope that imparts to those dreams the chance of becoming reality. Of course not all dreams come true. Those never dreamt, though, have no chance at all.