Exercise #11: Impossible?

Anglo-Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw

Image via Wikipedia

Exercise 11 instructions

“If man were meant to fly, he’d have been born with wings.”  That’s what they used to say.  That is, they used to say that before Orville and Wilbur Wright managed to put a manned aircraft into the air on the 17th of December in 1903.  Before that, people had tried to put a manned aircraft into the air for years without success.  People had watched them and repeated the tired saying, “If man were meant to fly, he’d have been born with wings.”  God didn’t give men wings, it’s true.  What he did give man, though, is imagination.  The Wright brothers had this.

Before the Wright brothers, there was Christopher Columbus, whose dream was to sail through the Atlantic Ocean to reach India, a trip that used to take months, because people had to sail around Africa.  The one thing standing in his way was lack of funds and the attitude of the sailors, all of which told Columbus that sailing West to reach India was an impossible idea.  The Ocean is too big, they said.  We’ll die before we ever reach India.  As a result, no one wished to fund the journey.   Well, no one but Queen Isabella, of Spain.  She provided Columbus with three ships.  We all know the story from here, right?  He sailed West for a month and found, not India, but the Americas.  Just think what might have happened if Columbus had listened to all those people who told him that sailing West was stupid.

Nowadays, there are still naysayers everywhere.  “That’s impossible!” they say.  “That can’t be done.”  However, you’ll note that they’re saying it less and less.  More and more people are doing the supposedly impossible every day.  People used to say that we’d never go into space, until Yuri Gagarin did it.  They used to say that man would never walk on the moon.  Tell that to Neil Armstrong.   I guess that old saying attributed to George Bernard Shaw is right:  “People who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

Look at all the impossibilities that we’ve managed to accomplish.  Today, we have the capability of calling a person from almost anywhere in the world using a device we can fit into our pockets.  Some computers are  so small, they’d fit into someone’s backpack or, smaller yet, their pocket.  There are “magic wands” that we use to turn electronic gadgets on and off.  People use surgery to change their appearances and cosmetics to enhance them.   Just think about all the amazing things that we do now that we were convinced were impossible less than a hundred years ago.  Then consider all the things people say are impossible today.  Could it be that they’re wrong?  Do you have the imagination and the drive to prove it?

Side note:  The quotation I picked for this piece is bolded.  It’s a favorite of mine more as inspiration to change myself than as inspiration to change the world.  I guess it’s just another way of saying, “Nothing is impossible,” right?


5 thoughts on “Exercise #11: Impossible?

  1. I take exception to your final comment, after all aren’t you a part of the world? By changing yourself, you change your personal part of the world. Isn’t that enough to be going on with?

  2. Pingback: Exercise #70: True Love | Cimmy's Stories

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