Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Imagineering Tomorrow

I fell across this terrific quote the other day which I hope only improves when shared, "(s)ome dream of great accomplishments while others remain awake and do them." We are a culture of often difficult and diffident people who wait for someone else to do something-not so much because then we'll join in, but because it then affords us an opportunity to shake our heads and wag our tongues. And yet, we continue to progress despite the disparagement of those around us who not only know everything, but who know everything better.

This weekend we had two events in Norwich, the Grecian Food Festival from Thursday through Sunday as well as Saturday's Taste of Italy. Lots and lots of people from both within and without Norwich came to enjoy the food and fellowship. Both are annual fundraisers for causes much bigger than the communities that started them-and both festivals began before I and my family became residents here two decades ago.

My point? Success has a thousand fathers while failure is an orphan. All the catcalls and criticisms about gatherings like these have long since disappeared into the mists of history as many shared a gyros and a plate of pasta with friends from every neighborhood throughout the city or were, perhaps, joined at a table by families from both Brooklyns, the one up the road and the other, one of the Five Boroughs of New York City.

Funny how the harder some people work the luckier they are. You'd think the rest of us might start doing the math and figuring out it's more worthwhile to grab up all the 'doing right things right' instances we have around these parts and attempt to duplicate them so that we all have more, instead of kicking one another in the shins as if that took some kind of special skill.

About ten days ago there was an article in the pages of a newspaper, "Norwich Development Program Offers 'What Ifs'" that caused some to shake their heads in chagrin instead of shaking the hands of those who were building Norwich Next. If no one had ever imagined space flight or pop tarts or Disneyland or Post-It notes or polio vaccine would we have them today, in the now? Or pony rides. Almost forgot to work that one in.

If you don't have any idea about what tomorrow should or could look like, how will you recognize it when it finally gets here? Jonathan Swift, he of Gulliver's Travels, once offered, "Vision is the art of seeing things invisible." Because I wear glasses doesn't mean you should have to squint. How did we get here in this place and space? By sitting quietly and doing nothing? Why not try to be an exclamation and not an explanation.
-bill kenny          

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