From Judith Hogan, Director of Religious Education
“Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” — Albert Einstein
Recently, while socially distancing with a few others, doing mindless tasks and passing the time with idle conversation, we were all telling tales of things that mean absolutely nothing, enjoyable nonetheless, but meaningless. The task at hand had elements of a memorable moment from a long ago job that required me to do a specific thing a certain way. A request was made for me to demonstrate this certain way of doing this thing, and ‘though I had done it technically well and according to the method I had to learn from that old job (which was really the point anyway), it, being my first attempt to do this task in this manner in more than twenty years, did not turn out perfectly. One individual commented, “Well then Judith, you failed.” …I use this example as a means to bring forward one of my own personal philosophies: In order for me to imagine a better anything (way of life, way of being, way of interacting), I must first have the intention of doing and acting positively so as to improve a thing. And, in order for me to make things happen (whether it be an improvement or not), I find it important to tap into my imagination so I can envision the best possible outcome. For me, any and all attempts to do, make, create, act, etc. are always going to be an improvement on the alternative, no attempt. The only true failure would be not to even try at all, and that would be very sad – I don’t do sad…
This January 2021, our theme for the month is Imagination – which is a perfect way to auspiciously begin the new year as we step forward from a year that showed up with so many very challenging moments and events.
Personally, this year and beyond, I will continue to endeavor to use my imagination to inspire thoughts and actions towards creating and enacting a better way of life. To speak into existence a better world and way of being that will hopefully inspire others and therefore improve my immediate environment and the environment for others. The old saying, you are what you eat, and those experiments where people spoke negatively and positively to house plants come to mind – the house plant that received the positive affirmations thrived – that is the world I want to imagine, live, and thrive in, a positive one.
Once again, putting my thoughts into a framework with an art reference, what do you think the Mona Lisa would have looked like if Leonardo da Vinci had not thought to imagine her with that enigmatic smile? Would the painting have been so interesting or enticing? Would Mona’s visage have inspired countless writings and commentary, guessing at Leonardo’s motivation and creative process? Perhaps not, no one can say for sure what Leonardo’s motivation was for including that smile. What I do know is that I can and have spent hours imagining what was behind Mona’s smile, and for that inspiration, I am grateful.
Welcome to January 2021! What sort of wonderful things will you imagine and create in this new year?
Soul Matters Calendar Connections: January 2021 – Imagination
Click on the name on each event for more information or inspiration.
Interfaith: Twelfth Night (Christian) – Jan. 5 | Epiphany (Christian) – Jan. 6 | World Religion Day (Baha’i) – Jan. 17 (more found here and here) | Tu BiShevat (Jewish) – Jan. 28, 2021, begins on the 27th (more here and here and here)
Unitarian Universalist: Thirty Days of Love – Side with Love Campaign – Jan.15 – Feb.14 | Millard Fillmore’s Birthday – Jan. 7, 1800 (Unitarian President; on his contradictions here & here)
National & Cultural: New Year’s Day – Jan.1 | The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln – Jan. 1 (1863) | Dr. MLK, Jr. Day – Jan. 21 (connections here and here) | Rowe vs. Wade Anniversary – Jan. 22 (more here)