“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.” ~ Robert Fulghum
When I started this blog, I had to choose a “what this blog is about” subtitle. As you can see I wrote, The Arts, Spirituality, Life. Those are all pretty big topics. I mean, I could write a twice weekly blog about just one of those subjects. In fact, I just read a blog post by someone I follow that advises that you should choose one topic and write consistently about that if you want to attract lots of followers.
So, I’ve been breaking the rules. Which might be the reason I don’t have lots of followers. But I can’t write about just one topic twice a week. If I did that I’d get bored. And that’s kind of been the story of my life. I’m interested in lots of things. I got a degree in religious studies because I was interested in that subject. Movies, books and theatre have been a big part of my life too. I loved teaching both drama and English because they have to do with story telling, which is why I love writing. My husband and I watch a variety of scripted shows but also programs which air on the History, Science, NatGeo and PBS channels. If it looks interesting, we try an episode or two.
Now, I’m coming to this idea rather late in life, but I saw a TED talk about multipotentialites, by Emilie Wapnick, and finally after all these years I said, “That’s me!” Someone once said to me, “You are interested in so many things that you lose focus. You need to pick one thing and concentrate on that and you will be successful.”
Hmm. I could see their point, but I couldn’t see myself choosing just one discipline to devote my life to for twenty or thirty years. I settled on teaching because I have been a teacher in one capacity or another for over forty years. I like it because it allows me to go out and explore topics related to what I’m teaching. When I taught American literature, I got to explore history, as well as the lives of the authors, their interests and influences. It was one of the most fun things about the job. Theatre and writing are also disciplines where I get to do research, so naturally, I love them as well.
One thing I’ve learned over the years of writing this blog, though, is that the posts that touch people the most are the ones where I share not only ideas, but how they affect me emotionally. Emotional intelligence is, in my opinion, highly underrated. We get these cultural ideas into our heads and when certain people don’t fit into that mold they are shoved to the fringes of society. But maybe that’s changing because of people like Emilie Wapnick. And maybe that’s what was so compelling about her TED talk. The people she mentions don’t try to fit into the little boxes society tries to put them into. They believe in themselves, which makes them emotionally strong. They create their niche and make a difference.
So, the TED talk confirmed something I’ve thought for a very long time, that we need people who not only think outside the box, but who believe in themselves enough to work to make the connections that will propel us forward. I have always encouraged my students to do this, think critically, look beneath the surface of what’s happening in a piece of literature, or advertising, or in world events and try to see what’s really going on. Because developing the ability to see the many layers in any situation can help us find new ways to solve our problems. That is exactly what Emilie Wapnick suggests in this video. And you can do that whether you are a specialist, or a multipotenialite.
I have no idea what I’m going to be doing with this information, but I’m excited to know that I’m not crazy, just interested in lots of different things. And using what I’ve learned just might help solve some little problems that lead to solving bigger problems.
Thanks for reading my musings. I appreciate your likes and comments.
Here’s the video. See what you think.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2018
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel, and is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.