What is the Cost of a Dream?

Sydney McNabb

Strength & Courage

What is the Cost of Pursuing a Dream?

Harm and Foul

After one compiles enough courage to begin the pathway to their dream, they can sometimes get too caught up in the moment and lose sight of what’s important in life. Yet there are consequences in building up the strength it takes to fulfill a goal. One must not have too much courage or they will become over-confident and their dream can be ruined. If the dream pursuit ends up failing, the strength inside that person can be lost, causing them to come about as discouraged and have a lack of faith and confidence in future dreams. Many people want to be strong, whether it’s physical or money wise. Tom Buchanan, in “The Great Gatsby”, craves a life of strength and authority in his society; he dreams to be in control as he is “a brute of a man, a great, big, hulking, physical of a man...” (Fitzgerald 12). By controlling Daisy and Myrtle as his puppets, he takes advantage of the good he had in his life, thus resulting in Myrtle’s death and Daisy’s false love. As he and Daisy fled the town, the so-thought good ideal of pursuing his dream of authority cost him his strength in the Eggs and the courage to face his problems.

It is much the same in “Greed is Good” by Gordon Gekko, explaining how power and strength is desired and how everybody wants it: no matter what the cost may be. Courage is lost in this situation through greed. Gekko puts all he has on the line by saying that “…greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge…” (Gekko 12) is the way to live. This cost him his strength within the companies’ perspective because he is then considered an outrage. All this is much the same in the documentary, “Inside Job”. The movie explains how people were being taken advantage of by many Wall Streeters who let Americans invest in a stock which they clearly knew was rapidly approaching bankruptcy. However, it did not matter to them, because they were getting paid "very well", enabling them to afford multiple luxuries and materialistic objects. After carrying on this fraud and corrupt scheme for some time, their character loses the courage it once had and their strength diminishes when they realize what wrong they have done just to make their life better in a selfish way. All three scenarios have one thing in common: someone lost their courage and strength by being greedy and manipulative in order to get what they wanted.

A Positive Outlook

Dream On

Although a cost is often seen as a negative thing, it is simply just an amount that has to be paid in order to obtain something. Paying with courage within oneself is not necessarily a damaging thing. Paying with courage/strength can build ones’ personality, strengthen ones’ confidence, and enhance ones’ future, as it did in “Serving in Florida” by Barbara Ehrenreich. She began her life in a nearby town with no job, no money, and no place to live. She planned to use all the strength and courage she had to give it her all in making a successful life. Ehrenreich said, “I am terrified, especially at the beginning…” (Ehrenreich 1) because she was unsure of where her decision of a new start would lead her, but she paid the cost of taking a leap of courage only to introduce her into a life full of strong confidence.

Similarly in Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech “I Have A Dream”, he goes against all social norms to voice his courageous opinion. In this case, King paid with his courage to stand up in front of millions of people and went completely against more than half of America’s beliefs to fight for what he believed in. Repetitively exclaiming “I have a dream today!” (King 21) to the nation, opened the minds of the citizens and eventually succeeded in his pursuit. Both situations paid with an outstanding measure of courage, which then resulted in a positive outcome by eventually achieving their desired goals.

A Final Thought