What could be the most heinous crime in the world? We are not going to settle on a particular answer. The story of a horse ranch which I happened to read quite recently but says that the most heinous crime with regard to future could be nothing other than stealing others’ dreams. A man by name Monty was speaking to an assembled group. He said, “I tell you a story. There was a poor boy, son to an itinerant horse trainer who would go from stable to stable, race track to race track, farm to farm and ranch to ranch, training horses. As a result, the boy’s high school career was continually interrupted. When he was a senior in the School, he was asked to write a paper about what he wanted to be and do when he grew up.
That night he wrote a seven-page paper describing his goal of someday owning a horse ranch. He wrote about his dream in great detail and he even drew a diagram of a 200-acre ranch, showing the location of all the buildings, the stables and the track. Then he drew a detailed floor plan for a 4,000-square-foot house that would sit on a 200-acre dream ranch. This little boy put a great deal of his heart into the project and the next day he handed it over to his teacher. Two days later he received his paper back. On the front page was a large red F with a note that read, `See me after the class.’
The boy with the dream went to the teacher and asked, “Why did I receive an F?” The teacher said, “Son, this is an unrealistic dream for a young boy like you. You have no money. You come from an itinerant family. You have no resources. Owning a horse ranch requires a lot of money. You have to buy the land. You have to pay for the original breeding stock and later you’ll have to pay large stud fees. There’s no way you could ever do it.” The teacher added, “If you will rewrite this paper with a more realistic goal, I will reconsider your grade.”
The boy went home and thought about it long and hard. Finally, after sitting with it for a week, the boy turned in the same paper, making no changes at all. He told his teacher, “You can keep the F and I’ll keep my dream.” Monty Continued, “I share this story with you because you are sitting in my 4,000-square-foot house in the middle of my 200-acre horse ranch. I still have that school paper framed over the fireplace.” He added, “The best part of the story is that two summers ago that same school teacher brought 30 kids to camp out in my ranch for a week.” When the teacher was leaving, he said, ‘Look, Monty, I can tell you this now. When I was your teacher, I was something of a dream stealer. During those years I stole a lot of kids’ dreams. Fortunately you had enough gumption not to give up on yours.” After a small pause, Monty said, “Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. Follow your heart, no matter what.”