I have a dream, or should I say, I had a dream. I dreamed a dream of great possibilities, and great impact on the world. In my heart I told myself this dream would touch the hearts of millions, if only I could make it come alive. A dream built on motives of virtue and the desires to help people, if only they could see it.
I had a dream, until you got in the way. You complicated things, tried to take over, tried to make me something else, tried to challenge me, tried to remove me from the picture, tired to mar my image, tried to make it your dream. I had a dream.
How many times have I sacrificed the quality of relationships for the quality of content? Dreams are valuable, but like any form of weapon, if not trained how to operate and use safely, we misfire and use it to our own selfish gain.
This is a warning. To you dreamers, like me. I know you walk on the forefront of culture, and often walk a path many don’t understand, but that doesn’t give you the ammunition to destroy those in your path to that dream. No matter how noble and virtuous your dream is, if you make your dream about the dream, then you will trample over anyone who becomes a threat to that dream. In the process you may achieve that dream, but you will stand alone in the wake of debris questioning how you arrived there.
Quality will suffer, not because of skill or talent, rather quality is the fruit of honesty. Honesty breathes life into whatever it touches, weather that honesty is in communication between two people, or it’s the subtlety of expressing yourself honestly though what you create.
If I make people my dream, and not the dream itself, then I won’t destroy people in my path. Love people more than what you do. By loving people more, you will find life and purpose in what you do, and if ever that dream fails, it won’t crush you because you will stand in the comfort of those whom you have poured into.
I once worked as a Production Assistant (basically the grunt of do anything) for a day on a well known reality game show that was in Orlando filming. I was 1 of maybe 100 people, and 50 of those were doing the same thing as me. For twelve long hours, only 4 of those hours, I actually ‘worked.’ The rest of the time I was treated like a cattle being corralled around and told to stand here or there and be quiet. It felt demoralizing and humiliating to be treated like a loud, annoying preschooler.
Compare this to a small budget, feature film I worked on. The whole crew was maybe 30, and over the course of 3 weeks we became like family. Specifically many of the crew in the grip and electric department watched out for me. I was fresh out of school, yet they gave me tools, taught me how to tie ropes, allowed me to work with them, invited me to sit with them, and loved on me like I was one of them.
Now I gave my very best in both situations, but which one did I come alive? Which one was dignity bestowed upon me and my work? Which one do you think I went over and beyond what was asked of me?
The answer is clear. When we as creatives care more about the dignity and condition of the people we work with, we actually gain quality. The quality of life spent with people we love and invest in, the quality of purpose in seeing others step into their giftings, the quality of dignity by bestowing upon others what we see in them, and the quality of honesty which is felt in all that we create and is seen by our audience.
I had a dream, but now I have a better one... You.