I have so much to be grateful for today. One of the ways I can show my gratitude is to use this incredible moment to inspire you to dream the biggest dream you possibly can, and then work for it.
A really big part of our energy and success lies in our ability to dream. There's a great line in the movie Grey Owl starring Pierce Brosnan, where the Ojibwe elders tell Archie Grey Owl, "A man becomes what he dreams. You have dreamed well."
When moms and dads at the ballpark would ask me for advice, I always told them to help their kids dream, and dream big. That's what I did as a kid. I didn't know if I could be a professional ballplayer! But I dreamed about it anyway. I could dream any dream I liked! Back then, I had no idea what a privilege that was. I've learned it's not the same for everyone.
Some of the kids that we rescue from slavery have awesome talents. But those talents have been squandered by the people that were slaving them out. These kids never enjoyed the chance to use their talents or challenge themselves. They didn't dare to dream, not even small dreams.
Imagine not being able to dream at all! It's shocking! Instead these kids were saying, "I just want to wake up one day, and not be a slave. I just want to wake up one day, and know that I'm not chained to the floor, that someone won't come to take the chains off just to tell me to go have sex with some guy." They never wanted anything more than, "I'm tired of going in these fields, and working hard every day. What do I get for it? I get put right back in the dark, I get hooked to the floor, and I get a thing of bread thrown in front of me as my food." This is happening to kids.
That's why we have to dream as big as we possibly can. It's through our dreams and determination that we can rescue these kids from slavery and restore them to their talents and their dreams. These kids are suffering and I promise you that Jesus is with them, waiting for you and everyone else to come and love these kids just the way He did: by saving their lives.
Happy Thanksgiving! Dream a big dream.
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Jeremy Affeldt is a pitcher for the three times in five years World Champion San Francisco Giants. He recently retired from playing baseball after 14 years.
He is a philanthropist and is the founder of Generation Alive, a non profit that works to move a generation of young people to act, to get involved. They teach and inspire young leaders to serve others who are faced with extreme poverty.
Jeremy is an active leader to end human trafficking and modern day slavery and supports Not For Sale. He is also an advocate to feed the hungry and supports Something 2 Eat.
He is the author of To Stir A Movement, Life, Justice and Major League Baseball. His second book is scheduled for release in 2016.
Follow Jeremy on Instagram and twitter @JeremyAffeldt. Facebook.com/JeremyAffeldt.