Friday, 10 April 2015


Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream; a dream he died with. Though we were made aware of that dream, it could not materialize in his time. His dream, when heard then, was considered the "joke of the century". His dream when heard now, is considered an achievement; an achievement not handed down on a silver platter but had to be fought for to be achieved. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah had a vision. A vision which is still in progress. A vision he probably had to die for. A vision which he alone believed in and even dared to believe that his countrymen would also believe in that same vision that the Blackman would be capable of managing his own affairs. This vision may be realized if we reduce our dependency on foreign aid. It was not to be. His vision died in exile with him. Nelson Mandela had a goal; a goal he had to suffer in prison to reach. A goal that would mean freedom but at the cost of bondage. A goal to fight against oppression in one's own country. A goal that would see the servant become the leader. A goal for independence. We may not know this but,, there has always been a difference between a dream, a vision and a goal. A dream is a cherished desire; ambition or aspiration. It is not enough to just have a dream. Dreams are good but having a dream without working towards its actualization makes the dream a white elephant. The dream just becomes a fantasy if steps are not taken to see the dream materialize. The difference between dreamers and achievers is action. A dream is normally something or an achievement that others would probably laugh at when they hear about it. It takes courage and determination to realise a dream. Biblical Joseph is a typical example of a dreamer who achieved his dreams. There is no telling all that he had to endure to see the dream become a reality. If he had waited, or given up because of setbacks on the way to achieving his dreams, he would not have been where he got to. We all have dreams, some may seem herculean, even funny but with determination, our dreams will be realized. Kwame Nkrumah had a vision. His idea was to ensure that there would one day be a united Africa. When we depended on each other without external sources of "help". A vision is a higher version of a dream. It is a well thought out plan. It is possible to be a visionary but if the purpose or the people for whom you have that vision are not ready to share in the vision with you, it would be close to impossible achieving that vision. No matter what you have achieved previously, if someone does not share in your vision, you would be considered too knowing if you go down the road of having to see the vision realized single-handedly . This fact notwithstanding, it will be better to have a well thought out vision than just a dream. A goal, just like the one Mandela had is the state of affairs that a plan is intended to achieve and that when achieved, terminates behavior intended to achieve it. Goals can be saddled with setbacks; setbacks that can cause one to breakdown and give up like Mandela's number of years spent behind bars. The difference between a dream, vision and goal is that a goal is embedded with a higher purpose and desire for achievement. It is an ideal which the one must endeavour to see through. All in all, it would be worthless to have a dream, vision or a goal if one does not employ positive thinking and positive action. Let us persevere in the face of setbacks and sometimes our own shortcomings and inadequacies to see to it that we strive to achieve our dreams,visions and achievements so come the end of our lives' journeys, we can look back and consider our dreams, visions and goals as monumental achievements. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a "dream" R.A.T (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT)
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