Tuesday, August 23, 2016


I recently attended a concert where the artist sang the song "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  At one part in the song, the artist sings

"If you want to view paradise,
Simply look around and view it."

 As soon as I heard those lyrics, I thought about this young boy:

I haven't been able to get that phrase out of my head. This world is so broken and sad. This poor child (Omran) is broken and sad, and he is in utter shock.  If you watched the video, you could see him wipe his head, notice the blood on his hand, and then look for a place to wipe the blood off of his hand. He doesn't panic at the sight of blood like a typical 5 year old would do; rather, he almost looks embarrassed by the fact that he is bleeding. He looks for somewhere to wipe his hand. He is as far from Paradise as he will ever be. This is likely one of the first days of the worst year(s) of his life. To simply look around and view Paradise is probably impossible for him at this moment.

While it seems like the world is sprinting down the road to Hell, I have wondered when I will reach the point where I think "THIS. This is as bad as it will ever be. The world cannot get worse than it is at this moment." It seems like each day brings a new, more horrific tragedy, whether on US soil or abroad. The world's current state of affairs is so incredibly sad, and sometimes it is difficult to see any good at all. There isn't even enough time to breathe between tragedies!

Watching the news can put me into a very defeatist attitude. I can't save all those lives, I can't stop wars, I can't do much of anything except sit and watch. That is (I think) why these lyrics stood out to me. I cannot fix the world, but I can view the Paradise around me. I can see the good around me. I can see the physical beauty of the Earth. I can see the good in people, and I can see the opportunity for growth in a difficult situation.....which leads me to my next Wonka quote (or rather, Willy Wonka quoting William Shakespeare #culture):

"So shines a good deed in a {weary} world"

Wonka knew what was up! I am a pretty optimistic person, and I like to think that I can usually see the Paradise around me.  But sometimes it is difficult, especially when it feels callous to be optimistic while the world falls apart. I may not be able to make everything all better, but I can make some things a little better. After stewing on all of this for a few days, I decided to make more of an effort to be optimistic. I want to help someone else get a little glimpse of Paradise when they maybe need help finding it. Optimism may not solve problems, but it certainly does not make them worse.  In this weary world, I think a little optimism goes a long way, and I want to make it go as far as possible. Because there is Paradise around us, and sometimes we just need a little help finding it.