Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Spring began last week. This week Easter is celebrated by Christians to commemorate the resurrection of Christ. It reminds us of God’s ability to bring life where there was only death.

In spring, the new buds on the plants remind us of the cyclical nature of the seasons: winter turns to spring, spring to summer and summer to fall. Each season has its particular stage. Without winter, there would be no spring, without spring, no summer and fall is most welcome here in Georgia after a hot summer.

While New Year’s is the time for resolutions, dreams and inspiration, spring is the time to put a deadline on those dreams to ensure that they are achieved. As Napoleon Hill, author of “Think and Grow Rich” said, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.”

Dreams are good – they provide a picture of what we would like our future to look like. Goals provide the bridge to take us from the current reality to the realization of our dreams. Dreaming by itself will not make something happen – but visualizing the dream and allowing that vision to motivate you to work really hard, that is helpful.

The importance of this transition from dream to reality was reinforced when reading Senator Barack Obama’s speech given last week titled “A More Perfect Union.”

“At this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, ‘Not this time.’ This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn; that those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st-century economy. Not this time. ? ?

“This time we want to talk about ….” is how the next three paragraphs of the speech begin.

Obama focuses this portion of his speech on “This time we want to talk about.”

Imagine - if instead of talking, we acted.

The goal of working toward shaping a safe, prosperous nation is best achieved by working together – taking action. By focusing on our shared bits of humanity – the spark of divinity in all of us – rather than relying on the standard labeling system – African-American, white, Hispanic, Asian, male, female – we can refocus the filters which currently obscure our vision.

We should focus on what works rather than what does not work.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.