Playing What If

Playing What If Pic

Playing What If                                  April 2020
As I lay awake listening to the rain, I realized that showers are one of the least organized components in God‘s creation. In some parts of the world it is a steady drizzle. Here in Southern California it comes in cells; light, then heavy, then nothing at all. That cycle can take an hour or just five minutes. You cannot say where or when or what is going to happen with much accuracy.

This lack of predictability leaves folks in Southern California open to consider the rain without applying context to it. The pattern of its arrival and departure, intensity or calm, deluge or sprinkles does not fit conveniently into the little boxes of one’s mind.

Growing up as a Marine Corps brat, our family might live in a motel for a month or a house for three years. We might be in North Carolina for two months, then land in Kansas City for two years. The ability to predict this was zero. What does this lack of a picture of the future create in us? We had to remove the process of contextual housing from our minds. It did no good. We just learned to adapt. But there was something else.

My friend Dr. Herbert Kellner calls this forced adaptation “transculturalism.” He says it actually triggers 500 to 600 DNA components. To cope, your brain skips past the decision-maker, the amygdala. Creative, adaptable people, like service brats, can choose to bounce past the compartmentalization of experiences. This also allows them to take in information without framing and binding it tightly by their own opinions.

Solutions to problems can skip through the mind like a dog that is let off its leash in a country meadow. At first glance, nothing is impossible. When one idea fails, you’re closer to the right solution. There is great hope in this approach. It is the backbone for the success of people who move from one country to another. The mind is released to explore new possibilities.

I worry about our schools after hearing one depressed educator say, “it doesn’t matter what we teach them as long as we teach them all the same thing.”   Teaching our children how to think is far more important than the factoids we teach them. Untying the mind from the restrictions of fear and worry can lead to new solutions, great inventions, and superior harmony of acceptance of original ideas. It even allows one the freedom to occasionally be wrong in the pursuit of what is right. Admitting an error liberates us to discover the truth.

The finest tools we can give our youth are the wonder of what was created for them, the thrill of discovery, and the context of our faith which guides them to the good in life. To love was not just a commandment, it was also a gift. Knowledge coupled with love and a purpose in life, these are the secrets to a whole society where anything is possible.

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