Tuesday, August 17, 2010


The greatest failure is the failure of the imagination; the inability to think that things can be other than they are; the lack of openness to the deeper layers of the human psyche; the unquestioning of all too popular assumptions; the ready acceptance of the lies that all vested interests in society tell and the deadening and depressing thought that nothing will ever change.

The Wave, 1971 by the sculptor Sinisca, Vatican Museum.
Many years ago I heard one of our Irish Senators say that the reason there was so much bloodshed on the streets of the North of Ireland (happily now a nightmare from the past and long gone!)could be directly attributed to a singular lack of imagination. How accurate this politician was - Senator David Norris - veritably goes without saying. When imagination fails, or is not even tried in the first place, then all mediation and dialogue which are the essence of diplomacy are committed to the dunghill of failure. Conflict at all levels - familial, national and international - is the result of the brekdown in our ability to imagine that things can be different, that dreams of peace and harmony are possible, that they are not just pipe dreams or pie in the sky.

What is greatly needed today on all levels of society - in local communities, in cities, in towns, in clubs and indeed in countries and in international affairs are statesmen and stateswomen with imagination, people with dreams and visions that are realizable, practicable, and feasible. But, I suppose, all real change starts at the bottom, in local communities, in our very own families, where we encourage each other to follow our dreams; where we encourage each other that we can make a difference here and now where we are, that as the Bard of Avon once said, that "we are the stuff that dreams are made on," that humankind can redeem itself as well as wreaking sheer havoc, if not possible extinction, upon itself if only it has the courage to dream that things can be different.

I'll finish this wee post with one of my favourite quotations:

Some people see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.  Robert Kennedy on his brother JFK; original quote from G.B.Shaw.

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