“You’ve done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.” ~ Ralph Marston
“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” ~ Gloria Steinem
“That is the exploration that awaits you! Not mapping stars and studying nebula, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.” ~ Leonard Nimoy
“To be hopeful means to be uncertain about the future, to be tender toward possibilities, to be dedicated to change all the way down to the bottom of your heart.” ~ Rebecca Solnit
Every fall feels like a new beginning because of the resumption of school. I’m not a parent, but I assume many are glad to have their children back in school so they don’t have to plan activities for their children every minute of the day. Though, I suppose many parents are glad to have extra uninterrupted time with their children during the summer months.
As a teacher, I always feel that the summer is too short, but on the other hand a new semester stretches out like a new sheet of paper waiting for us to write upon. New possibilities are always attractive. However, it’s what we do with them that makes all the difference. Even if it’s just loving myself a little more, that’s a positive thing I can do create more possibilities and change the world in some small way.
I don’t know if it’s just me, or if it’s because I’m a teacher, I see possibilities in everyone I meet and in every situation. The other day, one of my friends called to say that the book club group that I’m taking a sabbatical from, was having lunch together and she wanted me to come because as she said it, “we miss your positive spin on things”. I know it’s difficult to have a positive outlook on life and to see the possibilities of what’s going on. Even I, who was born with a positive outlook, sometimes wonder if I’m being a Pollyanna. But here’s the thing, being positive and seeing the possibilities, and the opportunities is a choice and many of us think we don’t have a choice. But we do.
My thinking on what I’d like to say today isn’t fully formed, but here’s something that might point you in the direction my thoughts are going. I’m used to collaboration. Having over thirty years experience in the theatre has helped set my modus operandi to look for ways to collaborate with others, whether it’s in a project or in a new way of being and thinking. On the other hand, in this country we admire the maverick. The man or woman who stands out from the rest and who gets the job done alone on shear willpower. Yet no one becomes successful alone. Being a self-made man, or woman is a myth. We all have lots of help along the way. Granted we have the power to interpret what’s offered to us. But without each other, we’d be sunk. There would be no new possibilities for us to work toward. No fresh ideas would come forward. Those happen when we collaborate. Something new is born.
So, as we move into a new season, think of finding a buddy or small group with whom you can collaborate to turn the negatives in your life, or your community into positives. Find someone to help instead of complaining. That’s one of the reasons I like a new semester. I get a whole new set of students to collaborate with to make their dreams come true. When I help them, I help everyone around me. And I try to help them see that when they can change their lives for the better, everything around them gets better. It’s a ripple effect.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2015