9.04.2007

Impossible Possibilities



“Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”--Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

Magical thinking has become quite popular in recent years, the belief that thinking something can actually make it happen, or that wearing a “lucky shirt” can make your favorite team score that winning touchdown. We’ve all probably succumbed to it at one time or another, although admitting it in public is another thing entirely.

While saying it doesn’t necessarily make it so, thinking it is definitely the first step. No structure would stand today if an architect, somewhere, hadn’t thought of it beforehand; if he hadn’t spent time dreaming up the design and imagining the materials. The best changes in our world take place when preceded by contemplative thought, when that thought is then frequently and abundantly watered by faith.

You aren’t going to fly across the ocean, Amelia Earhart style, unless, somewhere deep down inside, you believe you can.

On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Within hours the levees were breached. The landscape of our country forever changed on that day, homes swept away, loved ones lost. America is a live organism, larger than one community or city—yet when even one neighborhood is ravaged, the aftermath leaves a scar the entire nation can feel.

Magical thinking, for all its quasi-supernatural allure, isn’t going to fix the devastation Katrina left behind. It isn’t going to bring back the homes that have been lost, isn’t going to cut through the political red tape, and certainly isn’t going to protect us from the next natural disaster.

Should we shake the dust off our clothes, glad that the tornado/hurricane/fill-in-the-natural-disaster-of-your-choice-here didn’t wreck our house? It was our neighbor’s home, after all; it was the lady down the street; it was that man in the newspaper who lives 25 miles away.

Or should we do something?

I know we can’t solve the problems of the world in a heartbeat. But I do believe we have developed a form of disaster ADD. We flip through the television channels, focus for a brief minute on each ensuing tragedy, and then hungry for more, flip to yet another station.

I’m as guilty of this modern day apathy as the next person.

It could be time to make a collective vow, to make a difference—in our home, in our community and in our world.

I’d like to pose a rhetorical question: If you really could do six impossible things, what would they be? If you could imagine a different beginning and ending to the story that is called your life, what would it be?

Now, are you absolutely sure it is impossible?

3 comments:

Becky said...

qvlyuxI'm feeling quite rantish.

The impossible thing I would do would be to shake the media out of their myopic approach to news. The drumbeat continues for New Orleans while thousands of others never received a single penny of the hundreds of thousands of dollars volunteers across the country gave.

And has there been such an out pouring for the recent flood victims in Ohio? What flood victims, you say.

Just my point. If you listen to the media, the only people in America who have faced any hardship this decade are those living in New York and in New Orleans.

And by the way, acknowledging how slow all governments (local, state, and federal) concerned with New Orleans have been should convince people that reliance on government is NOT the answer in a crisis.

I've got more to say, but I'd better stop.

Becky

Becky said...

Well, it seems when I thought I was entering the word verification, I was in fact prefacing my post. I really was not intending to speak in Alien! LOL

Becky

Merrie Destefano said...

Becky,
Thought-provoking alien rant!

Both the media and the government definitely have their issues. To me, the important thing to remember is the human element, no matter where or when the disaster strikes. So often it all seems to get broken down into statistics, and then two days later everyone is focused on something that happened on the other side of the world.

Wish I had solutions. Right now I only have an ache in my heart whenever I hear of another devastating tragedy.

I'm glad God is in control. Despite my short comings.