Day-Dreaming — An Act of Rebellion

One of the most damaging — and socially acceptable — forms of “influence” is the limiting of another’s sense of wonder. Having the gall to hijack someone’s capacity to create all for the sake of “conventional wisdom” and “neatly defined roles”.

What on earth entitles us to say things like:

  • “Stop questioning!”

Maybe these phrases aren’t uttered verbatim — but they’re put in practice on the daily. Each time someone’s passion is extinguished in the name of reality, each time a dream is deflated in the name of discipline, each time innovation is muted in the name of cookie-cutter-production, each time a soul is shrunken in the name of status-quo we actively participate in the lessening of a human spirit. It may not be as clear-cut as a sharp one-liner, but rather delivered in the seemingly harmless packaging of indifference, task completion, boredom, or passive-aggressive messaging — but it seems much more commonplace than we dare admit to ourselves.

Let’s call this what it truly is — abuse.

This is how de-humanization becomes normalized. After all, the extreme snowballing has to begin somewhere, right? Contrary to popular belief, de-humanization doesn’t start with hate, politics, religion, or even debate. It starts by quelling another’s instinct to explore more.

As a new father, seems the most radical concept I can teach my daughter is to own her own skin and ask:

“Why not me; why not us?”

I’m so grateful to those few that challenged me to visualize new forms of community, creativity, and art. My worldview would be forever changed, filtering all things through the transformative lenses of ‘What if?’ and ‘Why?’.

Not much is more psychologically dangerous or stifling than hearing my ability to imagine is not worthwhile. Is it all born from our self-inflicted fear of insecurity, of the unknown, of risk-taking? Or maybe it’s more simple (selfish?) than that — maybe we simply won’t relinquish the intoxicating nectar of power, position, or influence. Either way, it seems the human spirit is unleashed when we embrace our common humanity; making the intentional choice to visualize together. Jean Vanier eloquently captures the notion:

We human beings have a great facility for living illusions, for protecting our self-image with power, for justifying it all by thinking we are the favored ones of God.

And this is not only something from past history; it is our world today…

The discovery of our common humanity, beneath our differences, seems for many to be dangerous. It not only means that we have to lose some of our power, privilege, and self-image, but also that we have to look at the shadow inside ourselves, the brokenness, and even the evil in our own hearts and culture; it implies moving into a certain insecurity.

Perhaps we’ve forgotten the path to discovery, and the profundity it carries when found.

We don’t need to be a people that demolish structure for the sake of being radical. We need to be a people that welcome wonder; that embrace the inevitable questions. Nothing worthwhile was built without first asking:

  • What’s possible?

In our desperate pursuit of routine, comfort, and predictability — I fear we’ve grown accustomed to casting-aside our day-dreams as cavalierly as they arrive. In may ways we’ve programmed our young ones — as well as ourselves — that if it is not simply defined, easily achieved, or conventional to silence the wonderment before granting it air enough to breathe an even short life of its own. We’re trained to dismiss.

The living of a life is — at it’s core — more inherently artistic than anything else we can behold. Capable of simplistic and stunning beauty beyond words; deliciously defiant of feeble definition or limitation. Yet it seems we’ve grown enamored with tirelessly toiling to make it binary.

Well, I’m done with paint-by-numbers.

Life is much more grey than black-and-white, and the grey will only be beautiful if we dare to dip our hands in and paint. The colors won’t run unless we’re brave enough to let them bleed together.

So let us say yes to the mess.

Let’s attempt the novel idea of exploring something new; let’s make something together. Let us start empowering our spirits to capture what it craves.

If we truly desire what’s best for our kids — we’d invest in their creativity in lieu of role-playing.

Let them color outside the lines.
Let them remind us the beauty of the day-dream.
Let. Them. Wonder.



Writer | Podcaster | Marketing Strategist | #BeAMaker

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