“Dreams have only one owner at a time. That’s why dreamers are lonely.”

–Erma Bombeck

Today would mark the 83rd birthday of Erma Bombeck.  Unfortunately, cancer ended her life, her humor and her passionate commentary on family life when she was only 69.  It would be hard to imagine that this popular writer and speaker could have been lonely; but she certainly was living her dream.  Maybe the lonely part occurred before we knew her.  It was not until the mid-1960’s that Bombeck landed a job writing a weekly humor column for a newspaper; and by the time that her columns were bound together in a collection titled At Wit’s End, she was nearly 40.  When her success finally peaked with the publication of The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank, she was 51 years old.

You may wonder why this feels important to me.  I will tell you why.  I think that each of us needs to have a dream that is the passion in our life that draws us back to ourselves no matter how far we may roam from time to time.  Maybe the part that Erma called “lonely” is the awareness that we, and we alone, always seem to return to the touchstone that is our dream.  We may meet others with similar dreams as we wander through life, and we may share the path with them for a time; but at the end of the walk — at the end of the day, we return to that place where our dream is our own.

“Lonely” might not be the word I would choose to describe this place.  “Solitary” might fit the bill, because one can be alone without feeling lonely.  So many other adjectives come to mind:  determined, passionate, courageous, introspective…perhaps each of us must choose our own adjective, just as we choose our own dream.

Do you have a dream?  I do!  Let’s take a little time today to spend with our dreams.  The world needs dreamers; because it is the passion of the dreamer that fuels the action that will move humanity toward being just a little more human — a little more humane.  For the sake of us all, we must never lose the ability to dream.