Good morning, and happy Friday! I hope your day is off to a great start.
This week seems like it’s been something other than a week. I can’t say if it felt longer, shorter, muddier, or colder, but it was definitely different. Okay, it was colder. I’m sure of that. Here we are in mid-April, with freezing temperatures overnight most of the week. And the RV is sitting there with water in the pipes. Because, you know, April. Who would’ve known?
And believe me, yesterday was one of those days when I really wanted to send the kids outside to burn off some of that excess energy. With the little ones, it usually happens around 5:00, right before their dad comes to pick them up. It’s payback for all the hours they were good, not to mention an afternoon nap. I’d ban naps, but I’ve seen how that story ends. No thanks.
It’s hard, because they don’t have much to play with here. Their bicycles are at home, and we don’t have a swing set. Okay, with these kids, it’s more like a jungle gym. Deep jungle. We can’t just turn them loose out front because they’d end up in the street, and the back yard is more of an obstacle course, courtesy of the dog. But at least they’d have something to play with.
Kids can amuse themselves with the simplest things. And just in case anybody thinks that trait vanishes in the teenage years, I beg to differ. I was in the Boy Scouts, and when you put a group of adolescent boys on an open prairie that doubles as a cattle ranch, dodgeball takes on a whole new meaning. Let’s just say there’s plenty of ammo to keep everybody amused.
But you know, there’s nothing wrong with kids finding new and improved ways to have fun with things we’d normally step over. It’s a sign of imagination, though sometimes a bit twisted. Still, it’s hard to shut them down when they’re so overly amused. Okay, you make them scrub their hands and toss their clothes directly in the washer. But otherwise, what’s the real harm?
Well, I guess that depends on who’s throwing and who’s catching. I was always on the receiving end. Whether it was a bucket of water, a mud bomb, or the dreaded cow pie, I spent a good part of my youth on the run. I guess that’s why I don’t run today. Unless somebody is chasing me with a snake, that is. No, that’s not a hypothetical statement. Been there.
But you know, it’s the same imagination that can look at cattle dung and see a Frisbee that found penicillin in moldy bread or looked at an egg and saw food. Think about it. At some point in time, a farmer left a bucket of milk in the barn overnight and came back to a glob of churning bacteria. “Hmmm. Strain that through a sock and I bet it’d taste GREAT on a hamburger!”
I’m no biblical expert, but I’m pretty sure the Garden of Eden didn’t come with a full kitchen, indoor plumbing, and an entire set of Craftsman tools. All of the modern conveniences we enjoy came as the result of human ingenuity. And ingenuity is the spawn of imagination. It began the first time a caveman dropped a heavy rock and watched it roll. I never said it was all intentional.
In fact, a lot of things happen by accident. Styrofoam was the result of an industrial accident. According to an old TV commercial, two people were walking down the street eating peanut butter and chocolate and bumped into one another. And way back in 1847, somebody mixed the right combination of glycerol and nitric acid and said, “Here, shake this up.”
Any one of those things could have resulted in nothing more than filling up the trash can with something we have dozens of uses for today. Okay, that last one would have blown up the trash can, but you get the idea. Imagination is to see something not as it is, but as it could be. It’s the ability to find new uses for useless items and turn disaster into opportunity.
Watch a young child, barely able to sit on their own, and you’ll see the wheels turning. Watch a young child, barely able to sit on their own, and you’ll see the wheels turning. Anything they can find becomes an implement to achieve a goal. That goal may simply be to reach a ball that’s just beyond their reach. It doesn’t have to be anything grand. But those little minds can find a solution to just about any challenge. Which is why nothing is ever completely out of their reach..
We don’t lose that imagination with age. We shut it down. We allow what we’ve learned to become our reality instead of forgetting enough of what we’ve learned to alter that reality. Every obstacle presents new solutions. Every tool has a new use. And every challenge presents opportunity. If what’s in front of you isn’t working, sometimes all you have to do is look beyond.
That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!
© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reservedFollow @dglardon