By Christine Baker
Nyack, NY, USA
Last night, I couldn’t sleep. That’s a rarity for me. After several hours of pretending to sleep, I sat down at my computer to do some writing. It was exactly 3:15am. I typed a single phrase into the search window: DO WISHES COME TRUE?
Christine Baker and Jessie
These were the exact answers I found, written by strangers out in cyberspace:
1. Wishes do come true, but not by themselves. You have to help them come true. You can’t just make a wish and sit back to see it come true, it won't work that way. Blessed be.
2. I think that wishes can come true, but you have to put in a little work to get it going towards the right direction. Think of the wish that you want and try to think of some small things you can do to make your wish come true. A little bit of help can go a long way. I believe that good things come to those who deserve them.
After reading these responses to my search, I sat back in my chair and thought about my own wish list. There is one wish in particular that I take out at night. I dust it off and look at it carefully from all angles. It's not a perfect wish, but it's close. Like worn sea glass in my hand, it once was sharper, bolder even, but in the last few years, it's taken a beating. Like sea glass, the pounding waves of my life have made it more beautiful, more unique, and more special to me.
I believe there is a distinct difference between a daydream and a goal. Goals show commitment; daydreams do not. Yet we are often told to follow our dreams and by following our dreams, we will be led to our true calling.
Here’s the nut of the nut - I think it’s all about that little voice in our heads. Call it instinct. Call it your spider sense. Call it God or the Universe. Oprah Winfrey calls it a whisper. I tend to agree with her on this one. It’s a whisper because it’s easy to ignore or shrug off when it’s not convenient. You know what I mean - you’ve all heard it. You’ve all ignored it.
Last year, I heard a whisper in the breeze one sunny spring afternoon telling me to go walk the Appalachian Trail. “What are you waiting for?” the whisper said. “You’ve wanted to do this your whole life. What’s stopping you? You have this dream. It’s a goal. You’re the only one who is going to make it happen.”
Damned if that whisper didn’t hit it right on the nose. I am the only one who is going to make it happen. Daydreams are passive. Real dreams require effort to materialize. Most of us don’t have a genie show up to grant us three wishes. There is a reason why each and every one of us is alive. Each one of us has a purpose in life. Not all of us find it. Not all of us listen to the whisper.
Back to my original question: Do Wishes Come True?
After considerable thinking on the topic, this is my answer: Yes, but you have to work at them. The question is not whether wishes come true, but how hard are we willing to work to make them happen?
My wish is to hike all 2,180 miles of the Appalachian Trail and make the world a kinder place at the same time. That’s where Walk4Good was born. It was born out of a whisper. It was born out of instinct. It was born out of dreams. And now it is real. People are promising that for each mile I walk on the trail, they will practice kindness. The dream has taken shape and is now a reality.
I will completely change my life when I depart in June 2012. Gone will be my office job and hours at a computer. In their place will be a 30-pound backpack and a comfortable pair of hiking boots.
Richard Bach said, “You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however.”
And so I work. And so it will be.
Christine Baker is the founder of Walk4Good and president of CB Creative, Inc., an integrated communications consulting firm in Nyack, NY. She is the author of Why She Plays: The World of Women's Basketball (University of Nebraska Press 2008), and was inducted into the Middletown, Connecticut Sports Hall of Fame in January 2011.