Thursday, January 24, 2013



Imagine how refreshing it would be to live in a perfect world.

I got beat up pretty good a few years ago, while in high school. When I came home, my grandfather noticed how I was hiding my face until I could get in the bathroom. He stopped me and saw the cuts and bruises. I explained how I stuck my nose in where it didn’t belong. He didn’t understand until I told him about three boys who were taunting another boy. The smaller kid usually stayed off by himself. I stopped, or tried to stop them from humiliating the boy, so the three bullies turned on me. I told the boy to run, and before I could go into a defensive mode, they jumped on me. I got the worst of it that day.

Grandpa said he was proud of me. Then he asked me to imagine there were no bullies around. I didn’t want to laugh because it hurt my cut lip, but when I did, Gramps angrily shook me. He repeated the statement. Imagine there were no bullies. He told me to close my eyes and think about it. I did, and it didn’t make any sense until I realized what he meant. If there were no bullies, we would not have the problem they created. I had a choice, go back and engage with them or advise a teacher what they were doing. Before I could decide, they attacked me in the school parking lot. I got mad, and subsequently managed to drag all three into the principal's office. I was sent home for a week, the parents of the three bullies were called, and a police report was made. When we all came back to school we didn’t like each other much, but they were never bullies again. I wish it were that easy today because few know why we have bullies period. Bullies exist. How can they be stopped? Do parents stop caring when kids reach a certain age?

Grandpa went further with his curiosity, asking me about other issues and we had a terrific conversation that lasted for hours. As I grew older, hopefully wiser, I started to analyze the whole of life and how we mange to survive and get along with one another.

Imagine parents who care enough to raise their children with morals, and teachings of right and wrong. Imagine creating a sensible punishment that would change wrong into, right? Wouldn't it be fantastic if life were that easy to resolve issues?

Imagine politicians who got along with one another and while both sides believed differently, they could compromise and create an acceptable solution. Imagine politicians who told the truth all the time and never lied about anything. Imagine that.

Imagine if all countries worldwide worked together to provide a lasting peace, cure illnesses, and share medical discoveries.

Imagine if anger could be eliminated and replaced with a new method of creating a peaceful mind and heart.

Imagine if no one cheated or lied and honesty and truth ruled our hearts and minds.

Imagine if you could travel anywhere in the world and receive nothing but joy and satisfaction.

The wish list goes on and on, but it always comes back to working things out so as human beings we can learn from our mistakes and survive with our fellow man.

On the other side of the fence comes another kind of imagination, one that’s not so spectacular or full of potential solutions.

Imagine if one person made the rule of law and those who disagreed were punished severely.

Imagine there were no religions, no belief in anyone or anything, no higher power and no one to comfort a lonely individual in need of a friend who will just listen without judgment or degradation.

Imagine if there were no political parties, or perhaps only one, and that one body of law made all of the decisions. Imagine no Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party members, Libertarians or Independents. Imagine no one could have an opinion on anything that differed from the sole leader.

Imagine there was only one car, one way to build a road or building and one way to dress.

Imagine if there were no rich and poor, there was only one class of people. What if no one owned a business or more than one franchise? What if everyone made the same amount of money, lived in the same type of home, drove the same type of car, and dressed in the same clothes as everyone else. Imagine the dread.

Imagine no one other than the sole commander had control of a business or private life.

Imagine an autocratic ruler who laid down his law, so no other existed. If you didn’t agree with his opinions or decisions, you were punished, prisoned or eliminated. Imagine.

Imagine if everyone had the same insurance, the same deductible, the same coverage and no one had a privileged position for better care.

Imagine if every country had reason to dislike one another and world travel ceased to exist. Imagine.

Imagine if teenagers were not allowed to be punished and had the freedom to do as they wished. Imagine as drugs flowed freely without rules or laws.

Imagine if terrible decisions were made by public figures and no one was held responsible. What if there were no punishment for the death of innocent lives?  What if it actually didn't matter in the eyes of the majority?

The bottom line comes down to a need for a lot of work. As my grandfather said, most on the above list will never happen. There are many reasons but most falls into only a handful of categories, selfishness and not caring what others do, greed, anger mixed with hate and the lack of mastering the art of compromise.

When troubled times begin to develop, we need to rationalize the changes and make corrections for all. If we legalize drug use, we must prepare for the consequences that will come later down the road and not wear blinders or buy it won’t happen.

Bad things do happen and need to be addressed. Imagine if we can learn how to stop the evil before it becomes reality.

As a filmmaker/author, I am also a dreamer. My heart wants to believe we will find solutions before terrible happens. My heart and mind is dancing with an imagination that creates peace, smiles and happiness. I want and need to trust the future will be better than the past, not only for personal reasons but also for the children following behind me.

The world needs attention. It's far more difficult to stop a conflict than it is to develop one.

What it all comes down to is how we raise and bring our children into the world. We have choices, and we all make mistakes. The problem is most never live up to their potential because the trail gets twisted, forks in the road distract from the goal and what started out as a successful oath slips into troubled waters.

We need to stop and, like the saying goes, smell the roses. Grandpa used to say, close your eyes and imagine, then open the eyes and do the right thing.

Life itself is superb and full of all we can handle. Not everything is perfect, not every body sound, but in our opinion there is little that can’t be done and in the end with a mind set correctly, what was thought of can certainly happen and take place.

Imagine if we share love, hug often, sustain a peaceful heart and look forward to good instead of the alternative – how intensely significant the life we live can be. Remember, a smile speaks a thousand words and generally enriches the soul.

Can you imagine that?