This I Believe
I believe in the positive power of nonsense. I don’t say much, but when I do speak, I try to make certain that most everything I say is pure nonsense. I think that the solar-powered lights that line the walkways of countless suburban homes are actually landing lights for alien spacecraft. I have created a holiday, Snake Day, which celebrates the annual reappearance of the garden snakes which inhabit the stone wall on my property. Snake Day comes every May 20, celebrated in only one place on the planet — my house. Because of my fondness for all things moose (another form of nonsense, I suppose), I have renamed the state where we reside Moose-a-chussets. And so on.
My grandchildren say that I would be a cool guy if only I weren’t so silly. I choose to think that my silliness is what makes me one cool guy. I believe that nonsense frees us from the bounds of conventional thinking. It lets us see common events in new and different ways. It frees our minds to approach new problems with creative solutions. Lastly, it adds joy and humor to our lives. How often were the thoughts of great creative thinkers, Newton, Freud, Einstein, initially dismissed as mere nonsense?
Recently, my nine-year old grandson dedicated a book of poems he had created to me. In his dedication he stated that he was dedicating the book to his grandfather, who “taught him the value of imagination.” I can think of no higher honor.
So, to all of you I now say, good bye, and have a happy Snake Day.
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