There's A Thin Line Between Being A Dreamer And Being A Fool

by Lauren Martin

Remember when you were a kid? Remember when you had full confidence in your abilities to do anything? Remember when you wanted to be the first woman to auction off her virginity online or the first 25-year-old to work for NASA?

Some dreams may have been more obscure than others, but we all envisioned ourselves in lives that were seemingly unattainable. We all thought about the impossible, the desirable and the unimaginable, but never once thought that we could be anything but dreamers.

We’d sit around, imagining ourselves doing the impossible, reaching the unknown, maximizing our full potential. We didn’t falter when telling people our dreams and plans. We stood proudly next to our secure ambitions and didn't hold a seed of doubt in our maturing minds. We had absolutely no worry that some of us could grow up to be fools with a dream rather than dreamers with a plan.

So what makes the two so different? What if you’re chasing a future, an ideal life; are you just a fool incapable of accepting reality or are you the romantic dreamer with a passion for the unknown?

Society (and Walt Disney) tends to romanticize the dreamer, the prodigious child with with promise and potential, his or her dreams seen as hopeful and admirable. These types are respected and celebrated, as others cheer them on to the realization of their crazy ambitions.

So why aren’t we all dreamers? Don’t we all have aspirations and ideas about ourselves? Don’t we all imagine ourselves with better lives, better stories and better reputations? Why aren’t we all celebrated with the romantic label of “dreamer”? How come some of us are passed off and disregarded as fools?

We all want to be the next Jim Morrisons, Hemmingways and Obamas. We want to live in mansions and flats along a Paris canal. We all want to see the world, change the future and leave our mark. So how come some of us are taken more seriously than others? When did some of our whimsical childhood illusions become bases for contempt and admonition? What separates the dreamer from the fool?

It all boils down to one simple idea: Dreamers are more awake than the fools. In their world of fantasy and “what ifs,” they have another bit of reality stored away. Their eyes are open and they are ready to face whatever challenges come with realizing those lofty ambitions. They understand that dreams will only ever stay dreams if they don’t take action, if they don’t have enough passion and determination to realize those dreams.

Fools, on the other hand, are asleep. They are wrapped up in their fantasy and the idea, refusing to leave any room for the rational. Their eyes are closed to the world around them and the realities of making their dreams attainable. They make no steps towards realizing these dreams and aspirations, but just spit them out into the world like lost pennies.

They are the ones who have no sense of sacredness and provide no protection for their dreams, but let them die out with their words. They get tired after realizing some minimal effort is required and usually back down easily when asked about their plans. Their motives are skewed and their passions are always limited.

You know you're a dreamer when you can't live without your quiet ambitions and hopeful futures. You do not sleep well at night because you want to be out there, achieving the impossible. You keep jobs but never let your real passions die. If you're a dreamer, you're alive; if you're a fool, you're just sleeping.

Dreamers make plans, fools make predictions.

Dreamers have ideas, fools have stories.

Dreamers have inspiration, fools have idols.

Dreamers find new ways, fools find original copies.

Dreamers have intent, fools have money and fame.

Dreamers have desire, fools have motive.

Dreamers have love, fools have lust.

Dreamers find meaning, fools find the obvious.

Dreamers don’t get scared, fools don’t get close.

Dreamers take their time, fools hurry it.

Dreamers understand the language, fools only speak their own.

Dreamers contemplate, fools imagine.

Dreamers don’t listen to others, fools love opinions.

Dreamers make records, fools try to beat them.

Dreamers see open doors, fools are always closing them.

Dreamers dare the impossible, fools just like to be dared.

Dreamers find escape, fools find ways out.

Dreamers use solitude, fools avoid it.

Dreamers learn from failure, fools never fail.

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