For the video of Jack’s poem, please click here.
I love children. I often wonder whether my wheelchair has a magnet which attracts children to it. Within minutes of getting to know me, kids are seen riding on the back of my motorized wheelchair like it was an off-road four-wheeler!
But, I think what attracts children to me is not my wheelchair. It is the joy of the person who sits in it…..me. What attracts me to kids and causes me to love them is the joy in them. The unbridled and untarnished hopes and dreams which leap from their lips. Dance with their feet. Sing in their hearts. The stars in their eyes. Dreams children have which really can and do come true.
A young boy who believes he can become an archeologist exploring the pyramids of Egypt. A young girl as a second grader in a ballet class who knows her destiny is to perform like legendary ballerina Misty Copeland. A quadriplegic from polio who envisions being an attorney when he grows up.
At a young age, as children, don’t we all have dreams to dream? How many of us knew then and even now that God speaks to us in our dreams. I know I’ve heard God calling me to marry the one I love. To write a poem, a book, a prayer, or a song. What dreams did you once have as a child? What dreams do you have now? What happened to some of those dreams? Did you ever stop dreaming because you encountered another person who did not encourage you when you needed encouragement the most? Or worse, who by their words were your dream killers?
Despite being in a wheelchair in college, my dream was to become an attorney. So, at the University of Houston my freshman year, I took a course in pre-law. I just knew that my performance in that class would surely demonstrate to my professor and me how a successful legal career was destined for me.
My confidence and hope were shaken when I failed my first exam. Almost in tears, I went to meet the professor to ask his opinion on what my poor test score meant. Surely, one failed test did not reflect a verdict on whether I could become a lawyer. Did I have false hope? Was I being unrealistic and foolhardy?
I said to my professor, “I failed my first test. Do you think I have the ability to succeed in law school and become an attorney?” Without batting an eye the professor said, “Jack, the failed grade reflects that you do not have the ability to make it in law school. You should consider another career path.” I was shaken to the core.
After a day of prayer and reflection, I went to the Registrar’s Office at the University and dropped the class. I was not going to let my professor’s judgment kill my dream. I had signed up for a pre-law class not “Dream Killer 101.”
I cannot candy coat this event by saying the professor’s proclamation just spurred me on. The truth is that if I had lesser faith in my ability and in God, I could’ve easily given up. I could’ve quit and not fulfilled the gifts God gave me to serve others in my calling as a collaborative divorce attorney.
I chose to drop that class as I did not want to spend my precious time and energy trying to overcome the negative energy of the professor or his view of me or deal with one who was unwittingly a killer of dreams.
God has spoken to us in Scripture as to the importance of building each other up. We have a duty to lift others up when they fall and not tear them down, diminish their hopes or destroy their dreams.
What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
God, please help all Your children to overcome dream killers. Dream killers do not do Your work.
God, please strengthen those who are discouraged by others to persevere. To have as much faith in Your plans for them as they have faith in You.
God, please help all those, who in the name of honesty, dampen, diminish or destroy the hopes and dreams of others. By Your love, may dream killers be transformed into co-creators of Your dreams for humankind.
God, please help Your children ignore and overcome dream killers. Then, may they follow the path which leads to the living dreams on Earth and peace with You in Heaven. Amen.
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If you want to purchase for yourself or a friend a copy of Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love or Prayerful Passages: Asking God’s Help in Reconciliation, Separation or Divorce, please click on here to go to Amazon.
Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to the Bending Angel website.