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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Are all dreams worth following?

White House Communications Director Anita Dunn recently praised Mao as one of her favorite political philosophers. In the context of quoting from Mao, she stated

In 1947, when Mao Tse-Tung was being challenged within his own party... to take China over, Chiang Kai-Shek [and his soldiers] held the cities, held the armies, held the air force... the people can say can say how you can do this? Mao said, 'You fight your war, I'll fight mine'... you don't have to accept the definition of how to do things... you fight your own war. (
and went on to urge her hearers to follow their dreams in their own way. Aside from her glorifying one of history's most evil murderers and excusing the use of any means to accomplish one's goals, we should ask the question, "are all dreams worth following?"

And the answer should be, "no." Mao's dreams for China, Hitler's for Germany, the Jews, and the world, Stalin's for the USSR were evil and should have been stopped. Evil dreams should not be followed.

But most of us will not be faced with evil that bold. Instead, we face smaller choices. Should I follow a dream if it interferes with promises I've made, and responsibilities that I've acquired in my life? If I abandon my promises and responsibilities in favor of dreams, what kind of person am I?

That's one nice thing about being young. There are fewer responsibilities, fewer promises made, and more freedoms. Dreams can be followed with a clearer conscience.

So, young people, find worthy dreams to follow. Older people, don't abandon your promises and responsibilities for dreams. If you can combine them, then good. Otherwise, keep your promises and fulfill your responsibilities.

Psalm 15:1, 4
Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?
He who keeps his oath even when it hurts.