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What Should Our Message Be About Making Dreams Come True

Jim Correll, director Fab Lab ICC at Independence Community College, Independence Kansas 

I first wrote about this subject back in 2016 and after the year of the pandemic, it seems like a good time to bring it up again. 

My only choice, at home, for “local” television is the Tulsa stations.  Therefore, pre-pandemic, the only time I saw Kansas Lottery and casino commercials was when I lodged somewhere in Kansas.  Although I have yet to do much traveling within Kansas, I’m sure the casino and lottery commercials are gearing up in the same manner as their Oklahoma counterparts. The commercials are all pretty much all the same.  They show people gleefully laughing and having much fun, either waving the stacks of cash they won in the Lotterypulling the handle of the slot machine, or rolling the dice, showing a big win. The people are all young, very nicely dressed and none of them smoke. A walk through most casinos would reveal a few gamers that look like the actors in the commercials, but many would have a different look. For me, it’s a good thing I don’t see these commercials very often because every time I do, I’m first a little angered that my Kansas government is in the gaming business, but mostly sad that we live in a world where people have accepted, and even demanded this situation of state-owned gaming. 

Gaming Can Make Dreams Come True? 

If I were a state legislator (and I won’t be) and I said “Let’s impose an extra tax on the poorest citizens in our state.  We can use that money to shore up our state budget.”  The outcry would drown out the current discord over any of several issues currently in the legislature.  From where I sit, it looks like the Lottery and the state-owned casinos are doing just that, imposing a “tax” on our poorest citizens. 

It’s bad enough that we’re taking money that could be better used to climb out of poverty, but we’re also exacting a toll on their mindset.  Many of the ads say something like “Make your dreams come true.”  So, the message is that the only chance of making dreams come true is by winning the Lottery or making a big haul from the state-owned slots or craps tables.  More troubling still is that the message filters through to the youth in our state; your dreams coming true are dependent on the astronomical odds of winning the state-sponsored Lottery. 

Only the Dreamer Can Make Dreams Come True 

What we’ve learned in fifteen years of working with entrepreneurs and the last seven years of working with “makers” at Fab Lab ICC is that there can only be one entity in control of making a person’s dreams come true, the dreamer.  Again, and again, we see it through the entrepreneurs and makers we study and get to know.  These people, whether in the videos we watch or the area entrepreneurs we meet have learned that dreams will come true as a result of the power of thought and hard work by the dreamer.  Somehow, we need to convey a different message to our youth.  Your dreams are not dependent on winning the Lottery, slot machine or craps table.  Your dreams are dependent on what you think about and work toward and it all starts coming true after you put it in writing.  Also, that dreams should relate in some way to helping others, making the world a better place.  The best way to help ourselves is to help others. This is the message we try to convey with our Entrepreneurship and Fab Lab activities; always an underlying theme regardless of age, circumstance or walk of life.  Think for a moment what the world would be like if everyone was pursuing their dreams in ways that would help others. 

Jim Correll can be reached at (620) 252-5349 or by email at jcorrell@indycc.eduThe views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of Fab Lab ICC or Independence Community College. Archive columns and podcasts at 

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