To enforce the idea in children that the fantasy worlds they escape to are not real would be a harsh and cruel thing to do. Especially since these are the ideas we cling to throughout much of life, that there might just be the slightest possibility that things will be okay in the end. A life where "Hakuna matata" really does mean no worries for the rest of your days; where "all it takes is faith and trust" to achieve anything you want; where "if you dream about something more than once it's sure to come true". I'm a real believer in the idea that happiness is a choice you make every morning, you can let tiredness or sadness overcome you, or you can realise that what you are feeling is just that, a feeling. It doesn't need to become real or control your day. So to take away from children the idea that dreams do come true if you hold on to them and that you can be happy in the end, no matter what, for me would be one of the biggest mistakes that could ever be made.
This also got me thinking about John Lennon's song 'Imagine'. I'm still not entirely sure why, but maybe it was something to do with the line "you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one". I'm totally aware that I sound like a deluded teenager who hasn't enough experience of life to know the true hardships that challenge happiness. And that's absolutely true. But I also know that, living in the Western world, I have so much to be thankful for, almost no right to be unhappy, and even less right to teach children that they can never be happy either. I'll always remember when I was about 13 I started waiting for sadness or some kind of depressed feeling to hit me, just because in the majority of contemporary literature and music there are so many people telling you how sad you should be, and very few saying you can be happy. But that unhappy feeling never came, and I have to remind myself to be thankful for that every day. I heard once that "if the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough" and, although a lot of the time you do have to remind yourself to be thankful and happy with what you have, once you realise how lucky you are it's amazing how much every moment can come alive with, for want of a better word, 'niceness'. I think I read somewhere that feeling is called your 'bliss' but don't quote me on that one.
It's actually quite funny how seriously some people take life when you actually stop to watch them and if I ever become like that I hope someone slaps me in the face. There will always be more important things than which friend or colleague was rude today, which family member is being grumpy, or which shop assistant was less than helpful. Obviously I can't speak for other people, but personally I started to enjoy life so much more when I heard Don Miguel Ruiz on Oprah's 'Super Soul Sunday' talking about not taking things personally. The judgements of all others come from their point of view and have absolutely nothing to do with you. Anything anybody else says about you is their own assumption and to take these things personally can in fact be considered selfish as this presumes that everything is about you. Seriously everybody should go watch that video on YouTube, these people are so wise I don't even understand.
I'm now preaching way too much so I'm going to stop writing and leave you with some wise words from people who know a lot more about this stuff than I do: John Lennon (the little story in the picture above) and Lenka singing 'The Show'. Have a happy day !!