Many years and paydays ago, I had the occasion to walk past the Giorgio Armani store and look at the stylish and extremely expensive clothes that they featured in their windows. Expensive is a relative term, of course. When you are living on an extremely tight budget, most items that are optional are too expensive.
It was most likely during my time in Chicago because the Armani store was close to my college campus. But for reasons that I could not determine at that time, I wanted something from Armani more than anything I could describe. Maybe it was the unavailability or maybe it was the attraction of buying something outside my price range.
Here we are many years later, and I just tossed my Armani shirt into the washing machine. Somehow I managed to buy it, either or sale or due to some windfall. But the moral is something I am forever teaching my students. Want something badly enough, work hard for it, and one day it will be yours.
Clearly, the prize in this case is not as important as a college education or new home. But I offer it as an example of what can be done with persistence and focus. Very often, I ask my students what they would want to possess or where they would travel if money was not a problem. The answers are often predictable but occasionally surprising.
This week a 2nd grader disclosed that he would have all meals delivered to his home so that his mother didn’t have to cook any more. This was also the student who was relieved to determine that I would make every effort to reappear in his classroom. It’s all about determination and keeping our goals firmly in focus.
Once again, it’s all about dreams. If we lose our dreams, we have nothing left for which to work or get out of bed in the morning. Admittedly, most of my goals were quite a bit more substantial than an item from Armani. But I continue to believe that we must succeed at our small dreams in order to keep working on the big ones. Shalom.