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How often do you tread softly on the dreams of others?

Today is December 2 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “do you tread softly on the dreams of others?” Today’s reflection offers another opportunity to consider the nuance of traveling your life path while translating one dream after another into reality. As this series has illustrated time and again one needs to develop a strong work ethic, maintain a long-term commitment, and remain focused over an extended period to navigate the chaos.

Today, however, we need to stop and think about those we encounter along the way. Are you so busy that you tread on the dreams of others? Perhaps it is time to pause today and reflect on the question “how often do you tread softly on the dreams of others?” If you study backstories, historical events, and academic research enough, you soon come to the realization that one common trait that those who navigate the chaos share is that they often help others achieve their dreams.

On the importance of watching where you tread, Irish poet and nationalist W.B. Yeats published the poem Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven in 1899 and wrote:

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths,

Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

What is most fascinating about this poem is Yeats’ ability to offer the reader a glimpse into the mind of someone so poor all they have to give is their dreams. If riches were available, they would ‘spread cloths under your feet,’ but this is far from possible so the writer ‘spreads my dreams under your feet.’ It is difficult to think of a more compelling offer of one’s honor to another.

  • How often have you placed your dreams under the feet of others?

  • How did they respond?

  • How often have others placed their dreams under your feet?

  • How did you respond?