I read a post on KPLU that, in the simplicity of its message, affirmed my spiritual and professional direction right now. These kids were asked to imagine what education would look like in 50 years, similar to an old school exercise done in the 60’s (I’m thinking they didn’t ask any kids of color). Some cute responses, yes. But even more than that, it was a clear and important demonstration of how the space and opportunity to imagine can result in innovations and transformation beyond our wild dreams. For instance, two young girls offered the concept of classrooms across nations taking classes at the same time using a tool that provides language translation simultaneously. They went on to say that they believed this mode of learning could decrease international conflict as leaders will be less likely to have disputes/disagreements with countries with which they have built educational relationships/learning communities.Somewhat simplistic? Maybe. Without refute or complex points to consider? Nope. However, what I want to stress is that when given a free pass to dream, to even consider what could be, young people are offering fresh, much needed strategies to age old problems. I’m a firm believer in setting the bar high, and pushing students past restrictions (real or implied), and allowing them to ideate without judgement or criticisms.What happens, though, when we apply this new found liberation to grown folk?
I’ll offer a quote I read recently: “You owe reality nothing and truth about your feelings everything” -from “The Triggering Town” by Richard Hugo
The specific context of this little gem of advice was to encourage aspiring writers, specifically poets, to resist the temptation to let reality restrict your imagination. Its message caused me to marinate and pause for a minute. I believe that changes, the transformational, trail blazing, life altering, life giving, system shattering ones, are rooted in the will of one human being. If this will is driven by the pure and true possibility of imagination, virtually any idea could be brought to fruition.Let’s go a step further.If any idea can be manifested, why do we deny most of them? Why do we consistently stifle our ideas? Could be a fleeting thought, could be a series of ruminations that you toss around in your mind every time you have a stolen moment of solitude.
“Damn, we need a community space on this side of town.
“I’d love to show those rich bastards the real stories and potential of our people
“Wish somebody would pay me for my opinion.”
“She could sell those dinners they are so good.”
Any of these sound familiar? What keeps the idea, the thought, the seed from being planted. Too often, we allow uncertainty, and the weight of reality dictate our actions. Success, progress, transcendence, remains elusive because unfounded threats overshadow the desires of our hearts and spirits.My favorite counselor on Intervention says, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.”
How can we change our tendency to live under the radar, shy away from shining a light on our souls?I offer this suggestion: The restrictions of reality are self-imposed. Yes, we have barriers. Money, single parenthood, emotional scars, health challenges, body image, work schedule, debt, emotional support…I know I haven’t even put a dent in the abyss of strongholds and obstacles we face. HOWEVER, I strongly believe this world will benefit greatly from your special gifts. The gift you are hiding is the very thing that a virtual stranger, either right next door or across the globe is starving for; why do you make them wait?Reality is cunning, manipulative, and entirely subjective. Let your gut, intuition and passion drive and guide you through this world. Turn yourself inside out and you will be blown away at the rewards afforded to you. Personally, I could use a partner in this path of commitment to cultivate the light that lives in the corners of my mind. How are you defying the limits of so called reality? The universe is waiting.
Hell, I’m waiting, too.