I have this image in my head that we are all waiting in line at the top of a cliff to look through the same telescope. Half of the people are told what to look for, and the other half are told just to observe what they see before them. After each person is done they stand around talking about what they saw. The ones who were told what to focus on saw only what they looked for, giving them a narrow view. The ones who observed the full view saw all there was to see within the diameter of the telescope. This gave them a greater appreciation, and as they stepped back and looked at the vastness beyond the telescope they saw that there was even more to be seen. Those who had the one thing to focus on couldn’t understand why those who had no restraints didn’t see the importance of the one thing that stood out to them.
My image is different ways of looking at things that form the perceptions we choose to believe. But it goes even deeper than that because there is still a uniqueness in each of us that gives a view that only belongs to us. There is no right or wrong way. What we each see with the openness of our mind, heart and soul is meant to add to the mix of which we are all a part of. It’s like a great recipe with many different ingredients mixed just right to create a tasty dish.
Not everyone is going to like what we see or see what we like. That’s okay, because it challenges us to get the recipe just right. A little bit of bitterness added to the pot can be balanced with a little bit of sweetness. So we can either help one another to see the bigger picture, and sit down to a great concoction of conscious soup or we can remain a one minded ingredient that has nothing to offer but division. The challenge is not to see what someone else says you should look at. We don’t have to agree to see what we can’t see. We simply need to go back and look through the telescope of life with our own eyes open wide. Than we will see what the bigger picture has to offer. Allowing each one of us to make a more informed decision about the things we choose to believe.
So the question we must ask ourselves is: Am I looking only at what everyone else tells me to see or am I looking with my own eyes at what the view has to show me in it’s entirety ?
“Whether it’s reading or writing, literacy is an outlet to an untouchable world – your imagination.” –InternationalLiteracyDay.org
Today is International Literacy Day. I never even knew it existed. It’s goal is to help communities around the globe act as a united voice in raising awareness for those who cannot read or write.
The fact that you’re reading this most likely means you had the opportunity to go to school and learn these skills. But for some, like myself it wasn’t easy. One of the hardest things is when you have an imagination that craves to be expressed, but doesn’t understanding how to use the tools being taught. I couldn’t grasp phonics, so sounding words out or spelling them correctly was always a problem for me. Reading seemed to go through my eyes, and out my ears before my mind had a chance to catch the words. To have such learning disabilities when I grew up was never addressed in my day and age. It wasn’t until I read something I really enjoyed that found how wonderful reading could be.
To have the desire to write my thoughts was a dream I never thought would come true. But the desire to do what seemed impossible wouldn’t leave me alone. So I learned how to teach myself. Reading, journaling and eventually online classes gave me the ability to work at my own pace with one on one help. The hardest part was learning to accept the critiques as positive way to make me a better writer. Than there was the insecurity I had after all those years of feeling stupid. Why would anybody want to read what I had to write? What else could I do but put it out there, and find out. Now I know it has always been what I was meant to do.
So I’m happy to know there is a special day set aside to encourage the wonderful world literacy opens up for us. For in my life it has taught me to paint the pictures of my imagination with the brush strokes of my words.
Today’s question ask me to share a memory about what I did to stay cool during a heatwave in my childhood.
Now just imagine on this very day, the hottest of the summer yet, not having the comfort of air conditioning to escape the discomfort. There was no excuse for staying inside because it was hotter there than outside under a tree or any shade you could find. If we didn’t have a stream or pool to cool off in we ran through the sprinkler, squatter each other with squirt guns, filled water balloons and tried to make as much fun as we could cooling off. Sitting inside the house in front of a fan was too boring and didn’t help much anyway. I knew when the night came I’d be laying in front of one tossing and turning. Going from the head of the bed to the foot of it, trying to find the coolest spot to lay. Hair damp at the nap of my neck as well as the rest of my body. It was the fan blowing on my damp skin that eventually gave me the relief I needed to fall asleep.
Thinking back I realize that even with the lack of comfort back then we used our imaginations to find ways to make a bad situation the best it could be. My advice with the wisdom I’ve gained through my many decades of life is not to let the many comforts you now have keep you from finding ways to use your own wonderful imagination.
When we went to Ireland a few years back we were told by a small pudgy white bearded man with a top hat that there are no snakes in Ireland. The legend is that in the fifth century A.D. St. Patrick exterminated Ireland’s snakes by driving them into the sea. The truth is, snakes never existed to begin with in Ireland. Knowing this truth is like finding out that Santa Claus doesn’t really exist. It takes away from the fun that the legend congers up. The imagination seems to make many things happen and appear that were never there before.
Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
If St. Patrick could drive all the snakes out of Ireland into sea, maybe he could drive all the snakes out of Congress as well. We could walk with trust through the green grasses of our country once again without fear of being bitten by all its discourse.
I have a bit of the Irish imagination in my blood, how about you? Maybe if we put all the good things we can imagination into the pot of gold today…we could create something magical.