There is a time in everybody’s life when they are a dreamer. They let themselves believe in things like Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy, sugar plums, fairies, and everything nice. They let themselves believe that places like Neverland might really exist. The boogeyman isn’t real. Often times for people their time as a dreamer does not last as long as they would have liked for it to. Innocence finds itself replaced with real life experience. Giving up the privilege of being a dreamer is sadly the only way that any of us can survive in this world, because relying on real life experience allows us to make the kind of decisions that keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. Those who do not give up their life as a dreamer and join the rest of us in the real world often times pay a steep price for that decision. Sometimes that steep price has tragic consequences and will see the life of a dreamer come to an end. This was the price that an idealistic young American couple paid when they held onto their life in the land of make believe instead of joining the rest of us here in reality.
Last year Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan were a young American couple in their late 20’s who had good jobs in Washington D.C. Austin worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. His girlfriend Geoghegan worked in the Georgetown University admissions office. They could have had their whole life ahead of them. Who knows what the future could have held for this couple if they had not given up their office jobs in the nations capital. Instead of giving up their lives as dreamers and joining the rest of us here in the real world the young American couple gave up their office jobs after they determined that they were wasting their lives working.
Before quitting his job Jay Austin wrote on his blog, “I’ve grown tired of spending the best hours of my day in front of a glowing rectangle, of coloring the best years of my life in swaths of grey and beige. I’ve missed too many sunsets while my back was turned. Too many thunderstorms went unwatched, too many gentle breezes unnoticed.”
Through Instagram and a joint blog that the couple kept the American couple documented their year long journey. Although life as a dreamer in the real world comes with its dangers and risks for the young happy go lucky couple that did not have a care in the world, it was working out for them at first. They were able to enjoy living life with the openheartedness that they wanted to embody and enjoy the acts of kindness that had been reciprocated by strangers.
Evidence that the young couple still held onto their life as dreamers instead of allowing themselves to wise up to the way of the world could be found in the posts of Jay Austin on their joint blog when he wrote, “You read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place. People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil. I don’t buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own… By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.”
The world that Jay Austin described in their joint blog and chose to believe that they live in was one that even John Lennon could be proud of. It was John Lennon who says, “you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” I wish that we could all live in that world. As a father I wish that the world that Austin believed we live in and Lennon sang about was the world that my children are growing up in. What we wish and what really is are not always the same thing. The problem with dreams is that no matter how great they are unless you find yourself in a coma, sooner or later the alarm clock goes off and it becomes time to wake up to what is real instead of what we want it to be. Waking up to reality can be a really hard experience to survive if you survive it at all.
For Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan the alarm clock went off on July 29 when their journey brought them to Tajikistan. The country is known for having a strong terrorist presence. The couple were enjoying a bike ride through the scenic country along with two other bicyclist when they were ran down by a car. After the driver hit the couple with their car five men got out of the car and stabbed the couple to death. Two days later the men who killed the American couple could be seen on a video sitting in front of the black ISIS flag. They vowed to kill all non-believers.
American liberals will try to present this couple as martyrs who died in the struggle for a better world. I suppose in some way those liberals would be right. While I have no way of knowing what their religious beliefs were, it is safe to assume that they did not share the same religious belief and values that the members of ISIS share. But it can’t really be said that they were struggling for a better world when one considers the world that Austin and Geoghegan believed that we live in.
Conservatives on the other hand might present the American couple as a cautionary tale about the dangers that someone faces when they travel outside the country along with what happens when someone willfully chooses to be naïve and a dreamer. These are the kind of dangers that face America if we allow the liberals to have their way and see massive back downs on the enforcement of immigration laws.
I may call Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan dreamers, but they aren’t the only ones. The alarm clock is going off right next to us waiting for you to wake up and turn it off. For your safety and those you care for I encourage dreamers to wake up and join the rest of us in the real world. How many more dreamers must see their lives end in a nightmare before it’s too late.