I used to get up at six o’clock in the morning to do jump rope. I’m less crazy now. I just burn the candle at the other end these days. But one time, when I was doing jump rope at this ungodly hour, I happened to see a shooting star. It’s the only one I’ve ever seen. And yes, I made a wish, because that’s what you do.
When you blow out your candles on your cake, no matter what age you are, there’s always someone standing there saying in a half imperious tone: “Make a wish!”
Make a wish, why don’t you?
So we do. But I got to thinking that wishing wasn’t really enough. When I was talking to my little student, I asked her: “When Pinocchio made his wish, did he become a real boy right away?”
“And he had no troubles?”
“No work or troubles at all?”
Well, sweet as a six-year-old singing student is, I had to disagree with her. Disney – and the media overall – tries to sell us the idea that once we’ve wished for something, we deserve it. It should just come our way and complete our lives. I’ve known a few people who have acted this way. After completing their degree or deciding on their career path, they sit around and wait for life to bring them its good stuff (whereas the fact of life is that you have to salvage the good stuff from the sewer).
Dreams and wishing are all very well. But hard work and a staunch character to see you through your trials are much better things.
“When you wish upon a star,
Make no difference who you are…”
Only… it does.