Author of The List, Yuval Abramovitz and daughter, Shira
About two and a half years ago, I was walking around with my eldest daughter, Shira, in the main street of the city where we live. She was five and a half at the time and it was early evening. The sun was setting and the sky was tinted the orangey red of the start of summer. We finished licking a huge three-flavored ice-cream cone, walked back home and talked about Anna, Elsa and Olaf.
Shira suddenly stopped walking and muttered something to herself as little children will do from time to time.
“Is everything alright, Shira?” I asked.
“Yes, daddy,” she replied, “I just saw a star falling and I made a wish.”
“And what did you wish for?” I enquired.
“I can’t tell you!!!” she said firmly, “If I tell you it won’t come true.”
We continued our walk in silence with the darkened and star-studded sky suspended above us.
“You know, Shira, I think you are mistaken. I think that if you tell me then maybe, maybe, maybe I can help you. It’s like when I was your age and I went with grandpa and grandma to Jerusalem and left a note in the Western Wall (the place where Jews leave letters to God in the belief that He will read them) and I asked for a computer. And a week later I got a computer!!!
“What, did God read the note?!” She opened wide her big blue eyes, excitedly.
“Perhaps,” I leaned toward her and kissed her on the cheek, “But grandpa surely read the note!”
This was a life-changing event for me as I understood that our education, irrespective of where we were born or where we live, is off track. It was a moment in which I came to realize that in fact, no one has ever taught us how to talk about our dreams.
What do we know?
That if we see a falling star we need to make a wish in our heart. That if we lose an eyelash we need to make a wish in our heart. And even on our birthday, the happiest day of our life, we make a wish in our heart. Why in our heart? Who hears it, how does it come true?
Why not tell friends and family and even strangers our dreams?!
For example: I desperately want to fly this year to Brazil but I don’t have enough money. Then instead of buying me a shirt I don’t need, put down ten dollars and you will be partners in financing my trip. For when we talk about our dreams and share them, there will always be someone, who knows someone, who can help us.
The last few years, I have been touring the world with my book The List, and have been amazed to discover how our education is warped and founded on old fables and customs. It makes no difference if you are a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew, whatever your race is, if you are rich or poor. No one told us that we must talk about our dreams.
The time has come to break the circle of the old tradition.
The time has come to shout out your dreams so that others might help you.
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