November 20 – Do people ever imagine a negative future?

November 20. “We are what and where we are because we have first imagined it.” (Donald Curtis)

On first glance, I like this quote, and it rings true for me. I can speak to the general place I am in my life and easily say that I imagined this place, even as a child. While other children were talking of being policemen, firemen, astronauts and the like, I said I wanted to be a father. From the time I was young, being a husband and father was something that was important to me. Perhaps fueled by the fact that my dad died when I was so young, I was eager to become a strong, caring husband, and a good father.

Today my children are adults, and my wife and I are empty nesters. Although my particular vision didn’t go that far back when I was a child, this is a natural progression from that originally imagined place.

I could say the same about my career, where I am with friendships and much more. The truth is that my life is pretty good. I can easily see how what I dreamed and imagined has become my reality. But what about those times when my life was not so good? Did I imagine that as well? And what about people who are in truly desperate situations? Did they imagine that before it became their reality?

This is where this quote doesn’t ring for me. I can see the motivational power behind imagining my future, then setting goals and making it real. That works for me. But I struggle with the idea that those in bad situations also imagined their lives first.

Sometimes quotes that are intended to inspire and motivate don’t work for me. And that is when I have a hard time writing about them. There can be literally thousands of reasons why someone could find themselves in a tough situation, but I have a very hard time getting my head around the idea that they are where they are because the first imagined it.

Today my reflection is short. Today I am reflecting on the positive power of envisioning my future, then setting a course to make it real. I am also reflecting on the fact that not all people have it within their own power to do the same. For them I pray that they find the strength and resources to make their own future brighter.


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