Following in footsteps of wisdom
From this perspective
“When you have a dream, keep walking in that direction.” When I was a boy, that was the advice I would be given by some of the “old timers.” I have never forgotten those words.
I believe the source of that advice came from conviction based upon experience. You know, the “old timers” knew when life throws challenges your way, just hold on to your dreams. The bottom line is, keep walking towards your deepest hopes.
Hope is a word that denotes possibility. When we concentrate our thinking in the direction of our aspirations, we receive more thoughts, including action oriented vision. The Wright bothers didn’t take action to build an airplane, before thinking about it. And they did just that. They did not know what would be the outcome of their actions, but they had a vision, and took steps to make that possibility become a reality.
“Run toward the roar,” the old timers would say. We were reminded “when faced with danger in life’s circumstance, run towards the roaring, go where you fear to go, for only there will you find some safety.” The story is told: the older lions would go off and settle in the grass directly across from where the strong lions await. As a herd of defenseless horses enter the area between the hunting pack and the older lions, the old ones roar mightily. With the bluster of the thunderous roaring, the defenseless herd of horses was in panic mode. Blinded by fear, they turned and fled from the source of roaring danger in the light of hopeful aspirations.
And speaking of aspiration, some years ago, there was a young farm girl with a great love for music. From the earliest days of her youth, she demonstrated a striking talent for music.
From the very earliest days of her memory, she dreamed of playing the piano. However, there was no piano in their home.
Nearly every piece of furniture in the home, at one time or another, served as a” make believe” piano. Finally, the family secured a second hand piano and piano lessons were arranged.
A dream was beginning to be fulfilled. Even though the piano teacher lived some miles away, the little girl managed to get herself to her weekly piano lesson. It was readily apparent to the teacher, that her piano student was indeed gifted. The young student could hear a melody once, and almost photographically reproduce instantly the melody with full accompaniment.
A rare talent indeed! True, finding “enough time for practice” with school work and family chores to do was a challenge.
But, the dream persisted. Her achievements were acclaimed, and state-wide recognitions were awarded. And now, many years later, this pianist … who had a dream as a child. .. attained recognition as a talented pianist and accomplished organist. She has accompanied numerous college choral groups. She has directed and accompanied church choirs, served as organist for hundreds of weddings, funerals, and for other special occasions.
Today, she is a well recognized piano teacher and accomplished church organist. You see, my wife Elaine,just retired as a church organist after 74 years of faithful and dedicated service.
Ah yes, it is with passion and resilience, one moves forward with determination toward the fulfillment of one’s dream. You know, the ‘old timers’ knew what they were talking about when they said “When you have a hope for the future, keep walking toward your dream.”
Dr. Robert L. Heichberger is a resident of Gowanda and Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus SUNY Fredonia