Wednesday, March 13, 2024

We've Got a Dream!

(Guest Post by Russell)

My daughter loves music. It is one of the joys of my day to see her look at the blank TV and start waving her hand as if directing music. This is her cue that she is ready for listening to music on the TV. We have introduced her to the likes of the Tabernacle Choir, Home Free and their many guests, BYU’s Vocal Point and Noteworthy, and, of course, a myriad of Disney music. One favorite has become “I’ve got a Dream” from Disney’s Tangled. In one of the more recent viewings of this song, I received a insight that reminded me of Elder Sabin’s October 2023 General Conference talk, “Hallmarks of Happiness.” Let me set the stage and make the connection.

In his attempts to scare Rapunzel away from the real world, Flynn Ryder takes Rapunzel to “The Snuggly Duckling,” a tavern of sorts with all sorts of ne'er-do wells. Initially, things look bleak as no one seems to be in the mood to help an innocent looking girl and her vest wearing accomplice. But, in a stroke of chance, her mentioning that she is on a quest of sorts to fulfill her dream, these ruffians’ hearts are pricked and the ensuing song, “I’ve Got a Dream” begins. The number opens with a Hook handed thug (that is how he is referenced in the credits, no name, just “Hook Hand Thug”) expounding on his harsh nature but inner desire to be a concert pianist. Let me pause a moment to reference Elder Sabin’s talk. He shared the following story:

“Several years ago, on a flight home from a Church assignment, Sister Sabin and I found ourselves seated directly behind a very large man who had a big, angry face tattooed on the back of his bald head as well as the number 439.

"When we landed, I said, 'Excuse me, sir. Do you mind if I ask the significance of the number tattooed on the back of your head?’ I didn’t dare ask about the angry face.

"He said, ‘That’s me. That’s who I am. I own that territory: 219!’

"Four hundred and thirty-nine was the actual number on his head, so I was surprised he got it wrong since it was so important to him.

"I thought how sad it was that this man’s identity and self-esteem were based on a number associated with a gang territory. I thought to myself: This tough-looking man was once someone’s little boy who still needed to feel valued and to belong. If only he knew who he really was and to whom he really belonged, for we have all been ‘bought with a price.’”

I suppose I made the connection between these 2 stories because of the follicular challenged nature of the men in both stories, Hook Hand Thug, and Unnamed Man with 439 on his head. I think both the song and Elder Sabin’s commentary after the story highlight the truth that each person is a child of God and that at some point, everyone was someone’s little boy or little girl with dreams much bigger than how their life may have gone. So the next time you see someone who is “malicious, mean, or scary,” has a “sneer that could curdle dairy” try to remember that “way down deep inside” they’ve got a dream.

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