A Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
“Whether you think you can , or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
Many of the adults reading this blog will remember the amazing editorial written by Francis P. Church, editor of The New York Sun which was published on September 21, 1897, in response to the simple question posed by an eight year old girl named Virginia O’Hanlon. The editorial was entitled, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” and you may read the editorial at this site. Many people think that there was no real eight year old girl and it was only an editorial written for the upcoming Christmas season, but that is not true. Wikipedia has some history on this young girl and her succeeding life—and a history of what happened to that letter she wrote and it is a very interesting history indeed. You can read it here.
Over the years, I think I have pretty much memorized that editorial but it was not until the last decade that I fully came to appreciate the words of Francis P. Church. Francis’ words were words meant for all of us, not just Virginia, and that is why he published his response to the letter (in addition of course, to solidifying the position of Virginia’s father who had “dropped back ten and punted” in response to his daughter’s question by indicating that she should write to the editor of the New York Sun at the same time he pointed out that if the New York Sun said things were true, they were true—talk about passing the buck!) Francis Church, however, was a brave and smart man and used this incident to make a very powerful statement; he was encouraging all of us to reach into our hearts and minds and recognize that the amazing power of the universe—the power of God or whatever deity an individual revers—is the power behind everything that happens in life. Note, in the editorial, the following words:
“You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, or even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernatural beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else as real and abiding.”
Through this editorial Francis Church was telling all men, women and children that they must use the powerful strength of faith and love to move beyond the veil of earthly illusions – those difficulties we encounter in our modern life—financial struggles, strife in relationships, problems in the workplace, even including lack of work and income for many of us presently. This is hard to do—to find the wormhole that allows a person to believe that they can overcome the difficult things in their life. It requires what I call a “willing suspension of disbelief” to achieve unison with the universe through faith and love. But in the words of Francis Church, in my own life I have found that when I remind myself to do this—to move through the wormhole and trust and believe in myself and others is the point at which I begin to experience true joy and begin to accomplish those things that I set out to accomplish. It is my wish this holiday season, as we make our elfin journeys through helping others, that we remember that we ALL hold the ability within ourselves to overcome difficulties and accordingly thrive despite such difficulties. And we owe it to each other to do exactly that—and to remember that there is power in the multitudes!
Wishing you all the strength to fulfill your dreams this evening,