Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The One in Power Needs to Listen and Learn - A Dream Interpreted

One night recently I had a strange dream. Like most people, I usually don’t remember my dreams. But the imagery intruded on my consciousness the next morning, and I was able to recall most of it. It went like this…

I was visiting one of my brothers in his home when there was a knock at the front door. It was the county sheriff. My brother invited him in, and immediately the sheriff began pointing out defects in the construction and maintenance of the house. He was all business and spoke with authority.

But then he decided to mete out punishment on the spot. He tied up my brother and suspended him from the rafters with a rope. Then he continued to point out flaws with the house.

At some point he turned to me. Giving me a threatening stare, he said, “Maybe you need to hang up there with your brother.” He clearly had the authority to do this.

But I took a step forward. When we were eye to eye, I said, “You might want to reconsider that.”

He looked at me silently. I may have taken him by surprise. I don’t think he was used to being challenged.

“You’re the sheriff. You know about due process. You know about civil liberties. If I were you, I’d give more thought to what you’re doing here. You have the power to do what you want, but you don’t want people in the community to think of you as a loose cannon. There could be consequences.”

Still, he said nothing. But I looked into his eyes, and I could see that his logical mind and his emotions were in conflict.

He looked up at my brother and said, “Cut him down.”

And that was that. Without a word, he turned and walked out the house.

The only injuries my brother sustained were to his dignity. For that, I resented the sheriff. But I also felt respect. He was doing his job the way he thought he was supposed to do it. He had exercised his authority in the usual way. But when someone called him on it and asked him to listen to reason, he did. He was a potential danger to the very community he had sworn to protect. But he was realistic. In the end, he conquered his ego and did the right thing.

What does the dream mean? The people who know me personally think I have an uncanny ability to interpret their dreams. But I’m not nearly as adept at analyzing my own.

The day leading up to the dream, I was writing about executives who waste a ton of money because they don't understand how people learn and what it really takes to ingrain a skill. Maybe the dream was connected to that. So here goes with my interpretation...

Even with the best of intentions, the person in charge can make a wrong decision. But once cautioned about the error, the wise individual will listen, accept the truth, move on in a new direction, and avoid the adverse consequences.

Do you have another interpretation?

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength .


MaGeezy said...

Interesting dream and interpretation. It's true that people in charge can make mistakes. I think the real test to find out if they are worthy of the position of being in charge is if they are willing to listen and take proper actions.

Rashelle Reid said...

Oooh,Denny. Very interesting. As I was reading it I felt it was a very good reflection of what's happening in the world at the moment. And couldn't help thinking that it would do those in power at the moment the world of good to read this story.

From what I've seen the policing of the #occupy movement has left a lot to be desired. I've noticed that look of surprise on the face of a few of New York's finest lately!

Think it's yet another example of divine timing. Thanks for sharing, Rashelle

Anonymous said...

That was a powerful dream, Denny. Thank you for sharing it and your insights from it.

In my experience, dreams are about the different aspects of ourselves and how they relate to each other. The sheriff might be the well-trained mind that continues in the same pattern until we question it. Your brother could be a part of you that feels there is no choice but to go along with the program. Then the deeper wisdom in you spoke up and chose to change the pattern.

I think this dream is an expression of becoming more conscious of the subconscious programs that are running on auto-pilot and changing what no longer serves you.