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Dare to Dream

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Phil 4:13
 
During the presidential contest of 2008, Barack Obama inspired millions of followers with his trademark slogan “Yes we can!”  Against the odds, the little known Senator from Illinois went on to defeat the 600 pound gorilla in the 2008 Democrat primary – Hillary Clinton – and to capture the White House as America’s first African American president.  Now, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has embarked on a similar quest – against the odds.
 
Against the odds.  Since the beginning of time, people have been stymied from achieving their goals in life because they are told, “It’s against the odds.”  And all too often, they succumb to the naysayers who love to throw cold water on other people’s dreams.  The real achievers in life, however, don’t let the odds determine their fate.  Not satisfied with the reality envisioned by others, they decide to create their own.  And they do it against the odds.
 
Think about how history has been changed by people who refused to be deterred by the specter of impossible odds.  Moses liberated the Hebrews from Egyptian captivity and led them to the Promised Land, even though it was against the odds.  David, a mere shepherd boy, slew the giant Goliath even though it was against the odds.  William Wilberforce ended the slave trade in the British empire, even though his quest seemed against the odds.  George Washington led a band of ragtag revolutionaries to defeat the most powerful army in the world in the face of overwhelming odds.  America orbited the earth, put a man on the moon, and is currently exploring Mars and beyond . . . against the odds. 
 
And in a less important sphere, who would have believed that the Giants would defeat the Patriots – for a second time, no less! –  in the Super Bowl or that Tim Tebow could play quarterback in the NFL, or that Jeremy Lin could play point guard in the NBA?  Yet they did, and they do . . . against the odds.
 
Theodore Roosevelt – no small achiever himself – summed up the attitude one needs to overcome the odds when he said “it is far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered with failure, than to take rank with those who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
 
We live in an era of unprecedented cynicism, yet we are also blessed to live in a country that forever redefined what it means to dream big.  My hat’s off to those modern day heroes among us who’ve dared to take on the odds, who’ve refused be held back by those who said, “No you can’t”:  Obama, Santorum, Glenn, Aldrin, Tebow, Lin.  These men are proof positive that no one should ever let the negativity of small thinkers hold them back, that we should all live life to the fullest, dream big dreams, and dare mighty deeds. 
 
May their lives and achievements inspire others to attempt great and mighty things.


Kenneth L. Connor is the Chairman of the Center for a Just Society, 1220 L St. NW, Suite 100-371, Washington, DC 20005. Email: info@centerforajustsociety.org and website: http://www.centerforajustsociety.org.
  • One of my very favorite films is “With Honors” starring Joe Pesci and Brendan Fraser. Pesci plays a homeless man who teaches life lessons to Fraser, a Harvard undergrad. The most memorable line is spoken with Pesci and Fraser in a library on campus; Pesci is disheveled and loud and has just been asked to leave, and the topic of the conversation is who are the winners and losers of life. “Winners forget they’re in a race,” says Pesci, “they just love to run.”

    A life lived with honor and courage that doesn’t know the word “impossible” is the life of a winner, because if you live that way then in short order you will grow to love the race. May we all be blessed with the integrity and fortitude to live such a life.

    BTW, I recommend “With Honors” very highly to Catholic audiences – it is a very good portrayal of the Church’s social doctrine, with the exception of a couple of really stupid remarks about condoms, which are the reason I wouldn’t recommend it for teens or younger (at least without parental guidance).

    • Oh, and there’s a scene of implied sex between Fraser and the female lead… That scene and the condoms remarks add absolutely nothing to the film, one wonders why the filmmakers felt obliged to include them. Is it because this is what college students supposedly do? They are very disappointing and they mar an otherwise pristine work.