The Imagination of People in Desperate Times

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Recently, I was asked by someone I get to see and speak to in-person periodically who reads this blog. We talked about various things included the economy, wars and all of the other crazy things going on in the world. They noticed that I’ve stopped writing so directly about various political figures the way I use to and wanted to know why? This leads me to write about something that was said, the imagination of people in desperate times. Yes that’s a long title, but that’s what I’m talking about. So thanks to that person who wisely do not want to be named, but you can comment. I won’t rat you out. 🙂

What would it be like to live in a place where we were not bound by what we thought was impossible?

A place where we did not have to guard our thoughts, a place where we were guided by our ideas and directed by our suggestions? A place where the imagination isn’t bound by our fear of rejection or conflict?

We are so bound by the limitations of our own mind. Our biggest obstacle of our life’s work is that we fail to involve our imagination. Our thoughts, ideas and suggestions often become what we have heard, seen or been told. We are so willing to limit ourselves to a position or ideology that we loose sight of the humanity of our opposition. We only see an enemy instead of a potential friend or ally. We often find area for disagreement, that we allow little room for consideration and no space for common ground.

Many of us put ourselves in a box, but we believe we think outside the box. How is that possible, when you can’t see how one man can have the audacity of hope? (No pun intended) The testicular fortitude to believe he can change the world, not by the might of his army, but the will of his people.

To go on a slightly political and patriotic tangent for a brief moment, I have this to say to anyone willing to receive it. It’s going to get better. We defeat ourselves when we give up hope. It’s not just you; it’s not just where you live, its many people.

Some choose to blame someone, but it’s not the fault of any one person, company or political party, but the greed and lack of vision of some people, companies and political entities. I’ve found it more productive to end my distain for certain individuals and leave them to their own vices. I can only move forward and stop allowing them to hold me back with their thoughts of terror, inconsiderate ideas and suspect suggestions. We got to save the arguments for another day and time, because we all have to fix what’s messed up.

If you have to fight why not fight against the feeling of hopelessness and those who are beaten down with cynicism and pessimism due to the current situations in their lives. I can’t make you draw upon your own imagination, but I just ask you not to give up.

Perhaps I’m just a student of hope and optimism, but I believe “the hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined non-conformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.” – Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love (1963)

How powerful are the words you think, say and believe? Do you believe what you say or do you just say what you believe? I know everything seems bleak in every way, but keep moving, don’t give up. Don’t be bound by the limitations of our own mind and lack of imagination. Don’t get caught up in the places of complacency and hopelessness. Keep moving.

References & Inspirations
Jewish Journal – 01/20/08 – “Keep Moving from This Mountain (1965)MP3 pt.1 & MP3 pt.2
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – 1963 “Strength to Love
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6 thoughts on “The Imagination of People in Desperate Times

  1. It is a fine thing to use one’s imagination to overcome adversity. It is a fine thing to join together with people who hope for a better world and optimistically work together to make it a reality.

    But where imaginative people go wrong is when they use the power of government to force their fellow citizens to contribute. Their desire for realizing their dreams lead them to make others become part of what they imagine the world should be. Then they have become tyrants of hope.

  2. There are a couple of things about vision.

    You state “Do you believe what you say or do you just say what you believe?” I will add – Do you act was you say and believe?” After all, value is demonstrated by what one does, not just say or believe.

    Having a positive vision of the future is important – but unfortunately, people use their own special interests to determine that vision. Take David’s comment above as a prime example. Although he didn’t clearly identify himself as a Democrat or a Republican, my point (and I believe yours too) is that it shouldn’t matter – whereas to him, it seems to.

    Well done Tim.

    1. “whereas to him, it seems to”

      Then you missed my point entirely. Let me state it in a different way. It is fine and commendable and good in every way to have imagination and use it to make the world a better place thru your efforts and the efforts of people who believe like you do. No matter what your political persuasion or beliefs may be.

      It is wrong to believe that the ends justify the means. That leads people (OF WHATEVER POLITICAL PERSUASION) to use government control to coerce others to become part of the solutions that they want realized.

      When this happens, proponents of a government program are tacitly saying that they believe so strongly in a solution that they are willing to send men with guns to force others to their will.

      This is wrong whether it is a solution that comes from the left or right.

  3. David … and you missed my point. If there was a common, positive vision for the future that was for the benefit of all, there wouldn’t be any use of government control to coerce others into their preferred solutions. In other words, having a vision that is beyond the left and the right, which is the premise of the author’s post — a positive vision.

    1. I see Tim’s point and agree with it. I just added that too many people who have fine and good intentions go off into the weeds when they use government to force others to “share” their vision. No reflection on Tim. No reflection on you. Just a related point.

      But following your point, I would say that any “common positive vision for the future that benefits all” must necessarily exclude government and its coercive methods.

  4. Another outstanding and thought-provoking post, Tim. Appreciate the helpful reminder that life is a good thing and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

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