The composition I would like to submit is written by my daughter Nina Al-Misnad, 17 yrs old who perished in a Ford Explorer accident, April 22, 99.  I just found this in our computer and found it inspirational to many. Her memorial site is http://www.geocities.com/ninafor_ever if you want to read more poetry and journal entries. --Evelyn Al-Misnad


Close your eyes for a moment and imagine what life would be like without hopes and dreams, and what the people around you look like. Does anyone look happy or excited? Would the word excited exist without dreams? What would you become truly excited over if there was nothing in the future you hoped for or wanted? It's hard to imagine a world without dreams because we are so used to them. Dreams are such a normal part of our lives and we are so accustomed to them that we usually don't appreciate them like we should. I mean dreams attribute so much to our lives that we don't even realize! Dreams are elements that keep people sane and able to live their lives because they have something to look forward to and work towards. "Reach high, for the stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep for every dream precedes the goal." Ralph Vaull Starr said this and it is very true. If you dream about a goal you want to reach, you are already working towards it because you are thinking ab out it and building up the courage and need to achieve it. Without motivation, which dreams can be classified as, the drive to achieve is not very strong.

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; there is where they should be. Now just put a foundation under them." I really like this quote by Henry David Thoreau because it makes me mad how dreamers are usually thought of as lazy people who just sit around and talk or think about how great something would be if only this and that happened. George Bernard Shaw said "You see things and you ask Why? But I dream things that never were and say Why not? This is what I think dreamers really do. They come up with thoughts and ideas that benefit others or/and themselves. Whether it be something as personal as marrying the love of their lives, as simple as wanting to change the paper used in schools from regular to recycled paper or as big as finding a cure for Aids, they're all important dreams and goals because they make someone, whether it is a bum on the street or a millionaire in his vacation house in Sicily, they still effect someone in a positive manner.

I don't think there are any bad dreams. Image that someone is addicted to drugs and dreams of having an endless amounts of drugs. You would call that a negative dream right? Wrong because if you really think about it what would their dream be like? Do you think they would include the painful parts of shoving a needle in their arms to shoot in the heroin or the extensive joint pains when tripping on acid? Not likely, what they are really dreaming of is the feeling of having a lot of something they love, and because they are addicted, all they would know at the time is drugs. When you are addicted to something it is your world and it's all you can think about. Therefore, these dreams aren't bad if you really look at them because they are just a distorted dream of having something that is perceived as valuable.

I dream all the time about stupid little things like the day I get to hang out with Kalifa and Jacqui again and all the fun I'm going to have when I go to college and finally get freedom. I think simple dreams like these are healthy and necessary to make people look forward to the future with a smile on their faces. Then there are the bigger dreams like Mother Teresa's dream of helping people in the world or world peace. These are the dreams that push people to do some of the things they do and create harmony and love in the world. These are the dreams that cause change to come around. I think this dreams are important, although no more important than the simpler dreams because they are both necessary to give people hope for the future, the joy to be alive and to truly feel as if the have a reason to live. The only hard part sometimes if dreaming of achievements that are very difficult to achieve.

"Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground." was said by Theodore Roosevelt. It simply means dream of things that may seem impossible and out of this world, but keep in mind your abilities and limitations.

So, I think dreams are a beautiful part of life that would be incredibly empty and almost useless if they never existed. I personally don't can't even think of how I would have gotten through my hard times if I didn't have my dreams to look forward to and want to stay alive for. After all, "Dreams are feathers woven together used as angels wings."

by Nina Al-Misnad
October 2, 1998

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