Til sunbeams find you
You got to have a dream,
If you don't have a dream,
How you gonna have a dream come true?
- South Pacific, 1949
Ward Bond wasn't a movie star, but he made a lot of stars look much better in more than 200 movies. He filled supporting roles alongside the likes of John Wayne, James Stewart, Henry Fonda and Humphrey Bogart.
In "The Maltese Falcon," Bond had the last word. But, as is the case with supporting actors, his line is forgotten while Bogie's utterance has become part of the vernacular. Here are the last three lines as they were spoken in the 1941 classic:
Detective Tom Polhaus (Bond): [picks up the falcon] "Heavy. What is it? "
Sam Spade (Bogart): "The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of. "
Detective Tom Polhaus: "Huh?"
"It," of course, is the falcon a worthless lead statue that people lied, cheated, stolen, killed and died for.
Are dreams really made of nothing? Are they false indicators of value? Do they tend to lead us away from reasonable and proper goals? Should we ignore our dreams and just "be sensible?"
Since ancient times, people have believed that dreams can have powerful meaning. Some say they can predict the future or other unknown facts; others argue that the study of a person's dreams is the best way to understand their psyche.
It's logical to assume that some or all dreams are generated by conscious and subconscious thoughts. Most dreams may fit the lyric popularized in Walt Disney's Cinderells (1950), "A dream is a wish your heart makes."
Who among us hasn't had many dreams we wish could come true?
Does that mean that dreaming is nothing more than wishful thinking?
In many cases, it could be argued that dreaming can be an important component in the process of becoming motivated to achieve more than is expected or to operate outside ones comfort zone.
"Act on your dreams," is a commandment often voiced by teachers, parents, friends and others who believe someone can do more or do better.
W. Clement Stone, a successful businessman and philanthropist reportedly said, "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."
If this is true, it follows that whatever a person may dream can become reality.
Clearly, some dreams are more likely to be realized than others and wisdom should be applied to dream interpretation. The best chance for happiness probably lies somewhere between fantasy and total pragmatism.
But Rogers and Hammerstein were right about one thing: If you don't have a dream, you'll NEVER have a dream come true.