When I was driving to La Guardia airport last week to catch our flight back to Canada, I asked the cab driver where he was from.
"Egypt," he replied.
"How long have you been here?" I asked him.
"Nine years. I'm the only member of my family to leave Egypt," he said.
"What made you come?"
He smiled, nodded his head, his eyes never leaving the road ahead as if his dream was just up ahead, just around the bend. "The American Dream."
I was surprised. I had never met anyone who moved for The American Dream. "Is it true?" I asked. "The dream?"
"Absolutely. You've got to work hard. But it's possible to create a better life. There's freedom here. I work two jobs, my wife is an accountant. We are doing it."
My fellow Americans, this is an amazing moment for me. To think that a once scrawny boy from Austria could grow up to become Governor of California and stand in Madison Square Garden to speak on behalf of the President of the United States that is an immigrant's dream. It is the American dream. Arnold SchwarzeneggerThomas Wolfe said, "…to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity ….the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him."
To dream the impossible dream. To reach the unreachable star.
Once upon a time, I dreamt of writing a book. I wrote it. It was published. My dream doesn't stop there. I have other books to write.
Once upon a time, I dreamt of speaking up for humankind, of speaking out against what keeps us down. I am doing it. My dream doesn't stop there. I have many words to share. My dream is to inspire, to reach out beyond this space to wide audiences.
Once upon a time, I had a dream.
I still do.
It's up to me to keep the dream alive. To keep dreaming and stepping forward on the path to making my dreams my reality.
Like my taxi cab driver who dreamt of being free of a society which would keep him in his place, I am free to dream big, and reach higher than I could ever imagine.
Dreams aren't meant to sit on shelves, gathering dust. Dreams are meant to be awoken, shaken up and lit up like a Christmas tree, casting a gold glow upon your day, leading you ever forward on your path. Dreams are meant for living.
The question is: Are you living your dream? Are you shaking yourself out of the doldrums of sleepwalking through your day, reaching beyond the limits of your imagination and stretching high? Are you awake and dreaming?