Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Dream of Fish

I had a dream last night that my mother and I were standing on a wooden dock. It was dusk and the canal below the dock was a little swampy, and full of fish.

I wished that we had something to feed the fish. Then I thought, hey, if they just think that I have something to feed them I bet they'll come over. So I tapped my foot on the water, and almost right away dozens of fish were gathering around the dock, swishing their tails. I was pleased and impressed with how many fish were there, and all their different colors.

Some even appeared to be jumping out of the water over each other, which I pointed out with delight to my mother. Then I realized the truth - they weren't fish jumping, but rather small alligators, rushing quickly to the surface to gobble up the fish. But the fish remained oblivious, and continued waiting expectantly for a few bread crumbs to be thrown, even as they were being eaten by the baby gators.

One of the fish lept out of the water and I caught it in my hands, but I had no place to put it, other than to throw it back in the water to fend for itself. I even managed to grab one of the gators by the snout to keep it from devouring more fish, but there were so many more gators that I could not control while my hands were full. And there was no advice my mother could give me that could fix the situation.

I suppose that, when people look up to you as their leader, there is a promise implied that you will take care of them. And if you break that promise, they will continue looking to you for help, even as the problems of the world arise to bring them down. And if, as a leader, you've allowed it to get to that point, you're going to have quite a job on your hands fixing things.

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