A man makes fun of his friend for wanting to become a musician but learns the hard way that you should never mock those who have dreams.
Everyone has different dreams and goals for their life. Damien never wished for much except a job that gave him tons of money, while his friend Mike wanted to be a successful artist. They both went on different paths after high school.
When the technology sector rose, Damien knew that it would be the best path to provide a nice living for him and his future family. He applied to college and eventually landed a six-figure job in IT. It was everything anyone could ever want.
Man with a guitar | Source: Shutterstock
Meanwhile, Mike had never been too academically inclined. He slacked off most of his senior year to play guitar. He would even rock some tunes in the streets for a few bucks.
Damien urged him to apply to universities so that he’d have a backup plan in life. But Mike refused. He was going to pursue his dream of becoming a musician no matter what.
Years went by, and they still saw each other sometimes. But Damien grew pretty conceited. He advanced at work and was earning even more money in that world. Meanwhile, Mike was basically poor and could barely afford rent.
“Why are you still wasting your life, man?” Damien asked Mike one day when they met to have lunch together.
“I’m not wasting my life. You are,” Mike replied.
Two men talking in a restaurant | Source: Pexels
“No way, man. I’m earning tons of cash now, and people respect me at work. I’m about to buy a huge house soon with all I have saved up. And you? You can't even afford to eat in this restaurant,” Damien added.
“Look, dude. Office work is simply not for me. I can’t do it. It would kill my soul to do something like that. I’ve had one dream since I was little. Why can’t you support me?” Mike asked.
“Because I still think you’re wasting your time. No one becomes famous making music. Only a few connected people, maybe. But it’s not going to happen for you,” Damien said, exasperated now.
Two men talking in a restaurant | Source: Pexels
“I’m going to keep going no matter what you say,” Mike finished.
“Fine, but this is the last time I’m inviting you to lunch. I’ll pay, so you don’t have to worry much. But this is just sad, man. You could be doing something with your life,” Damien commented. He paid the bill and decided to avoid Mike from now on.
He hated that Mike could barely make rent and lived with other starving artists downtown. It was time to cut ties with him, or his own reputation might take a hit. His life was definitely better, he thought.
Man in a suit with his phone | Source: Pexels
But the truth is that Damien was not exactly happy with his life. He had become Mike’s friend because he envied his dreams. Damien never had any. He didn’t enjoy anything in particular, and it was pretty sad not to have dreams.
David secretly envied Mike’s guitar talents but thought it was ridiculous that Mike hadn’t given up and found a real job yet. Meanwhile, his work was sucking his soul, just like Mike had feared during their talk at the restaurant.
He was earning tons of money, but there was more pressure every day. There was never a calm moment. In fact, Damien started to hate his reflection in the mirror because he looked ten years older than Mike. It doesn’t matter, he thought. He was never going to see that loser again.
Stressed man in a suit in front of his laptop | Source: Pexels
Several months passed since their conversation at the restaurant when Damien spotted Mike playing the guitar along a street near Damien’s office. He laughed, exasperated. Mike had ragged clothes on and disheveled hair.
Damien decided to get his phone out and recorded the street performance to upload to YouTube. Now, everyone will see what a loser this guy is, and maybe he’ll stop, Damien thought.
He posted the video and forgot about it completely as his work became even more intense. Meanwhile, his depression was getting even worse. It was so bad that Damien started to drink regularly at home.
One day, he decided to stop by a local pub and sat at the bar to order a whiskey. The TV was always playing some game, but he never paid attention anymore. He wasn’t interested in the woman trying to flirt with him either. Life was just meaningless at this point.
Glass of whiskey | Source: Pexels
Suddenly, the bartender turned off the television, and a voice boomed over the bar. “Hello, everyone! We have a special treat for you tonight. You might recognize him as the local man who went viral on YouTube. Everybody, give a warm welcome to Mike Petras!” the announcer exclaimed.
Damien turned around and watched as his friend took the stage with a backup band. What was going on? His video went viral?
“Hey! I’m Mike. Some of the regulars might recognize me from a few small gigs around town. But this will be my last performance here because I’m moving to L.A. permanently, and my album will drop soon. You’re going to support me, right?” Mike said through the microphone.
Hand holding a microphone | Source: Pexels
The crowd cheered for his friend, and Damien could only sit dumbfounded.
“That’s awesome! Thank you, everyone! Now, I want to dedicate my first song to my friend, Damien, who is sitting right there at the bar,” Mike started. Everyone turned to look at Damien while he blushed, embarrassed at the attention.
“Damien, you showed me exactly what I never wanted to be and pushed me to pursue my dreams so that I wouldn’t have your sad life. Thanks, man!” Mike added, “To everyone else in the crowd, if you also have a dream, never let anyone put you down.”
Man in a denim jacket speaking to a microphone | Source: Pexels
The crowd laughed, and the music started. Damien stayed for the entire set, but he didn’t dare approach his former friend. He left the bar dejected and spent the following years watching his friend become a superstar.
What can we learn from this story?
1. Never put others down. Some people feel better by putting others down, but they will never be happy in the end.
2. Dreams are important. Reality makes us forget about our dreams, but you can become anything you want to be with hard work and patience.
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