If I asked you what your dreams are, what would you tell me? In the book Born A Crime by Trevor Noah, Noah writes about his life in South Africa as a young child. While he was a child, he struggled through poverty under Apartheid because his parents were in an interacial relationship and at that time it was illegal. So as Noah went through life, he faced difficult challenges. In Chapter 5, Noah states, “We tell people to follow their dreams,but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited”(73). This chapter is about Noah explaining his education in South Africa and what type of parent his mother is by showing how she prepared him for things bigger than where they were from. This quote means that it can be hard to dream about something big, or even becoming something big if people can’t imagine it, and if dreamers can’t imagine it how do dreamers know it exists? I agree with this quote because someone can’t dream about what they’ve never been exposed to.
The first reason I agree with Noah’s quotes is because Imagination can take people far with their dreams , but without imagination there may be no dreams to be had. Imagination is a boost to the thoughts in your head. In the book, Noah talks about his family’s dream of adding a room and driveway to their house. Although it may seem like a simple dream, for Noah’s family it would be a large feat and the main reason they dreamt of this is because it gave them hope for the future. Noah and his mother didn't dream of much because for a majority of Noah’s life all they knew was what they had, and what they had wasn’t much. If there is a lack of imagination, then your dreams are only based on what you know from the way you were raised and the things you’ve been around. Those who are fortunate enough to grow up in an environment with support, knowledge, and encouragement of bettering yourself and looking towards the future are more likely to dream big. An example of dreaming of big opportunities would be being a successful CEO at the top with lots of money. For Noah’s mother dreaming big wasn’t an option because she was focused on getting by day-to-day. Noah’s mother wanted more for him, so she did her best to teach him all that she could in order for him to be able to dream outside of the world that they lived in. Many people’s dreams seem to be limited because a lot of the time they are limited to where they exist in the world. Although imagination plays a big part in dreaming, our imagination may be limited to what is around us such as our culture, location, finances, and religion. People in the world face different struggles and have different experiences. Everyone’s dreams are different, but our dreams may help us connect to others.
While another reason for me agreeing with the quote is when dreaming about something, dreamers tend to have a certain dream because of a specific person or event in life that triggers the thought. In this book, Noah's lifestyle didn’t include a lot of imagination. It didn’t include a lot of imagination because his family lived in poverty and suffered under apartheid, which didn’t give those in South Africa a lot to do or see. He was open-minded, but him being born in poverty under Apartheid didn’t provide Noah with opportunities. Although I did agree with Noah’s quote, I also somewhat disagree with his quote because often people are born from nothing or with limited imagination. However, those that deal with being limited by their environment still have an opportunity to better themselves. Imagination gives people hope to build upon their dreams. Imagination is the first step to the dream occurring and gives a visual representation of what their dream could be or amount to.
In conclusion, Noah grew up in South Africa already being looked down upon because he was truly “Born a Crime”. As a mixed person growing up during Apartheid, he wasn’t allowed the freedom to go wherever he pleased and didn’t have an abundance of interaction with the world around him. He wouldn’t be able to play outside with the kids in the street, so he would be in the house the majority of the time. As a child having fun and seeing how others exist in the world affects dreams more than we think. Even though someone’s dreams may not be big, as long as you have imagination they will at least be able to relate the dreams to what they know and over time their dreams could get bigger. Noah’s mom tried to take his imagination as far as she could , even though she wasn’t presented with this same opportunity. She learned more for herself and for him, so that they both could be able to dream bigger. At the very least she wanted him to know that there is more to the world even if he were to never make it out of South Africa. In this chapter, Noah conveyed the story of the importance of knowledge, imagination, and dreams. No matter how small someone’s setting may be or how limited they may feel, they should always keep in mind that just because they may be stuck in one place they can always learn more and better themselves even if they can’t escape where they are. As long as individuals remember that they are what they know, meaning that they hold the key to their success, the choice of expanding their mind, imagination, and dreams is in their hands.