Dreams, Dreamers and Dream Killers!
In this quasi long article, I am going to divide the subsequent paragraphs into a satire, melodrama, literal dream and lastly—dream for a vision.
A new substitute teacher walks into a high school classroom and starts introducing himself. And he asks the students their names and aspirations in life in general and what kind of profession they would like to pick up later on in life. After the last student finished telling her future plans, the teacher picked up a chalk and wrote, “What is the number one dream killer?” The students started giving different answers and opinions when some said, laziness, lack of motivation among others. A student sitting in the back raised his hand and said, the number one dream killer is alarm clock. The students bursted into laughter including the teacher or as the millennials or Gen-Y would say it, they laughed out loud including the teacher. Of course, when the alarm clock goes off, one wakes up from a dream in deep sleep.
In the 1989 film “Field of Dreams”, Kevin Costner plays a farmer from Iowa who owns a huge swath of cornfield but ostensibly his love for baseball to the point of obsession revolves around the plot of the film. One evening, while tending to his field, he hears a voice streaming through the wind nudged crops and the voice says, “If you build it, he will come.” The voice kept coming back every time, the farmer is in the field. Against the advice of his wife and his best friend, he clears the entire field and turned it into a baseball field. And as the voice asserted, all the dead baseball legends showed up on the field with full jerseys on and he cheered them on as they played evening come. It is melodrama with a genre of magic realism but one would do anything including believing in the impossible to realize one’s lifetime dream.
Social-quotient or versatility or diplomatic finesse is not limited to people only. One can find the coveted trait in elements, atoms or molecules as well. One element with in the Periodic Table that stands out with no match is Carbon.
Carbon can mingle-in practically with any element including with those that are abrasive, reactive and unstable. Needless to say, it is ubiquitous where no living matter exists with out Carbon. It is essentially, what makes one organic. I don’t want to bore the reader with the nooks and crannies of Carbon but to be sure, its versatility is attributed to the way its outer four electrons are configured around its nucleus.
One of the milestones or landmarks in the discovery of the structure of molecules or compounds was the discovery of Benzene. Certainly, benzene had been known before but its structure was not fully elucidated. It’s discovery was in a way when science—the rational met the metaphysical world. The German Chemist August Kekule in mid 19 century claimed to have seen the six carbon ring [structure of benzene] in his dreams as a snake coiling onto itself biting its own “tail.” Some still dispute the claim when science refuses to disown its dictatorial posturing and claims to own the license for the ultimate “truth” instead.
In the spring of 2018, I was in Tigray. As it happened, my first cousin and I drove from Mekele to Adwa overlooking the rooftop mountains, picturesque green pastures and in between bustling small towns and emerging cities. Later on, we decided to drive to HaHaile-Feresmai to visit my relatives on my father’s side whom I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. One of my relatives—a young mother came with her ten years old daughter to visit me. A little girl with intelligent face and curious eyes. When I asked her what she wants to be when she grows up, she said, she wants to be a Physician and a Scientist. Her ambition was curious and when asked her why a Scientist, she said, not only as a Physician she would treat cancer patients but as a Scientist she can find the cure for cancer as well. I was proud beyond words and excited for her. Later on, I found out that, the mother of her school friend had died of cancer and that triggered the dream and determination.
A little girl from Feresmai dreaming big! It seemed, she had it all figured it out [what exactly she wants to do with her future life] where the rest of us in the room felt her presence and her confidence. One couldn’t help it but imagine her someday as a young lady joining the pantheon of Nobel laureates in Medicine and making the newly born nation of Tigray proud beyond words and most importantly cancer—the specter to humanity would be no more. As they say, there are no roads, roads are made by walking and the little girl had already started the journey as a serious student always first in her class…till the dream killers, savages and barbarians showed up at the gates of Tigray.
The dream killers, savages and barbarians saddled on their dark horses and headed to the gates of Tigray to kill, rape, loot, set farms on fire, vandalize factories, schools and universities including health centers. The objective was to render Tigray un-Tigray.
It was November 4, 2020. Mothers of Tigray wailed to the heavens for those here on Earth conspired with the enemies of Tigray instead when Tigray was cut off from the rest of the world so that darkness would hover over Tigray. Tigray refused to give in, however, including when the powers be sided with the savages and barbarians.
A responsible government fine tunes the potential of its citizens especially the young so that the present generation can live better than the previous generation. It is called progress. Instead, the Abiy Ahmed regime turned on its supposed citizens when it set out to destroy Tigray in cahoots with a foreign army—Eritrea. Dreams however, never die and Tigray in transition has stood back up. And in a resolute mission as well so that the dream of that bright little girl won’t be in vain.
This is what the champion of the Enlightenment Marquis de Condorcet wrote his master-piece titled, “Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind” during the French Revolution while in prison waiting to be executed….”How consoling for the philosopher who laments the errors, the crimes, the injustices which still pollute the earth and of which he is often the victim is this view of the human race, emancipated from its shackles, released from the empire of fate and from that of the enemies of its progress, advancing with a firm and sure step along the path of truth, virtue, and happiness! It is the contemplation of this prospect that rewards him for all his efforts to assist the progress of reason and the defense of liberty…”