Just what is potential? We hear the word all the time, and we’ve tacked on a rough definition of what we think it is. But have we really given the idea of potential much thought? Are there limits of human potential? Are there limits to our own personal potential? These are questions that have fascinated humans for centuries, and we won’t settle them here today. However, let’s take this opportunity to stretch our thinking a bit.
Imagine a one-legged man climbing a tall mountain. Imagine a blind sculptor. Imagine a deaf composer. All are flesh and blood, and have walked this Earth. Imagine huge, incredibly heavy machines flying through the air like birds, carrying people inside of them. Once unimaginable – now a commonplace thing. Think of so-called incurable diseases, healed without medical help. Imagine yogis in India and Tibet raising their body temperature or slowing their heart rate at will. All these things happen every day.
Now imagine a world in which conflicts are settled peacefully, where children and elderly are considered national treasures. No one goes hungry, no one is without medical care, and no one is a victim of a violent crime. Imagine a world in which racial and cultural differences are prized because they give us richness, and tolerance is practiced from the cradle to the grave.
A great poet once compared the imagination to a lamp, shedding light on possibility. “It is the priceless ingredient for a better day.” What do you think? What is possible for us as a species and for you as an individual? Stretch your imagination for a few minutes. See what you can find. Perhaps share what you see with close friends and loved ones. We must be able to see this future world before we ever can create it.
Change can be intimidating, but let’s think of it as growth instead. Growth is one thing you can dedicate your life to and make happen at the very foundation of human action – human thought. As the song lyrics say, “If you can see it, you can be it.” If we truly see these potentials for our future, then, surely, we can make them happen. And it will take more than one person to paint this particular picture of human progress.