“The great men of the world have ever been its men of vision, men of imagination, of ideals and of inspiration. They ever hold their heads high, and see above, through, and beyond the limitations of their time and environment. They will see with the poet’s imagination, the prophet’s intuition, the philosopher’s reasoning.
Vision sees a mighty forest of oaks in a handful of acorns. Vision sees a glowing revelation of the ideal as the birthright of the most sordid and seemingly hopeless real. Vision sees far down the coming years the culmination of the logic of events where others may not note even a trend or tendency. Vision sees the sunburst of the final triumph of right at the very hour when all seems wrapped in the darkness of doubt and failure.” ~ William George Jordan
As I sat watching the Republican presidential debate the evening before last, one of the central questions on my mind was whether the men on stage where men of substantive vision or men who delivered a plausible yet hollow semblance of true vision. The situation could hardly be more challenging, where members of the same party have to vie against one another in full view of the nation and of the opposition to sort out who is most fit to lead, all the while positioning themselves for a run against the opposing candidate, who presently holds the keys to the White House and the strings to a lot of people’s purses.
The question remained unanswered at the end of the debate but I must say that I find their passion, courage and tenacity led me to ask myself if I am doing all that I can to articulate a vision through my thoughts, words and deeds. If I understand anything it is this one thing: that there cannot be real growth, true development without vision. It is as true for the individual as it is for any grouping of individuals. It is true for you, for me and it is true for humanity as a whole. Where there is vision, the people flourish.
The privilege of vision, of imagination, of ideals and of inspiration is available to everyone on earth. Most people seem content to follow the vision of another, in some cases living vicariously through them, but you cannot truly live if you have not yet developed your capacity to articulate and actualize your vision. Living without vision is not living, it is existing.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. True vision is not manufactured by the mind alone. While it is crafted in the workshop of the mind and tempered by the fires of the heart, it comes from a place that few know anything about. How do you find this place? There are many ways, but one of the most direct routes involves learning to think, to truly think for oneself.
The human mind is a marvelous thing, but it tends to crystallize that which would flow naturally, gracefully and abundantly into expression. There are many things that frustrate this flow and they are easily identifiable. Fears, prejudices, rigidly held opinions, and arbitrary intentions top the list, their common denominator being unrelieved tension. Each of these qualities of being are restrictive in nature, man-made diuretics that increase the excretion of the waters of truth from the mind and heart, leaving the womb of creation, of original thought, of true vision and inspiration, an arid and desolate place.
It’s not simply enough to relax, however, for the mind and heart must be trained and toned to recognize the currents of true inspiration and vision from the ubiquitous extraneous and mixed impulses that tend to fill the hearts and minds of most people who are busy being busy, establishing a name for themselves or simply reacting to that which is round about. If you are reacting to the world around you, you are already one step behind. What you see, hear, taste and smell already happened, so when you react to those things you are struggling with the past. Again, you are existing, not living.
Living is the process whereby vision is articulated and all things are made new. You have an opportunity, nay, the responsibility to make all things new in the world you center. Anything less is technically beneath you, though most people set the bar so low in their existing that it is hard to get much of anything beneath them.
Dare to share your vision for the world we steward together. Dare to transcend that which has heretofore kept the real you imprisoned and hidden from sight. Don’t be afraid to fail and more importantly, don’t be afraid to succeed.
The world needs you!