Making dreams come true

Recently Jacob, a guy who’s around 6 years old, came up to me in class asking me if I could finish his long-term-craft project with him. I showed him how to cut on and stay in lines while drawing. One could see great excitement in his eyes. I was really impressed by how motivated he was to bring it all to an end. After a while, he had one of these fancy Nintendo DS gameboys both cut out and colored. It was a pleasure to me to see him smiling about his masterpiece.
But all of a sudden his mood changed. Being frowned, he somehow looked sad and depressed. I eventually asked him ‘What’s the matter with ya, buddy?’. While looking down, he slowely responded: ‘I will never have the real one.’ At first, I didn’t really know how to react on his frustration. As a matter of fact, he was totally right. He would never have this toy he longed to have. I finally said that you simply can’t always get what you want in life. I added ‘Life would be boring if you would always get what you want.’ He put on a big smile and said: ‘But it would be much more fun!’. I grinned back.
Finally, I had an idea for how to make his dream come true. I pretended to hit buttons on his new, self-made game console. Jacob started hitting other buttons on the arrow keys. Then I added weird sound effects that made us both laughing. We seriously ended up playing a made-up game on a console that simply did not exist. We were happy with what we had – Each other and a plain piece of paper that didn’t even move. We could have been the producers of a new game, I could tell!
That’s how a touch of imagination and creativity can make dreams come true. To see a child smiling because I made it happy was an incredible blessing to me. That’s when I considered the American dream being not only centered about wealth or visions for a nation – far off reality for kids – but realistically in what I do for children. The proof is Jakob – A six-year old who just needed a little help to find the way to fulfill his wish.

Jonathan Philipp

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