Walking along Figueroa Blvd in downtown Los Angeles, I see it all. I see people around me using devices, we call cell phones, to communicate with other people. I see buildings proudly standing taller than some mountains, touching the skyline without fail or hesitancy. I see people drinking beverages that came from miles away, without even recognizing what it took for it to get there. I see planes soaring above carrying hundreds of people half way around the world. I see digital billboards, global satellite positioning maps, pools on buildings, helicopters, the Dodgers game projected on dozens of plasmas.
I see what was once impossible, possible.
“Knowing” isn’t learning what other people already know, but questioning everything that is thought to be true. Too often today people are judged for thinking outside of the box, questioning authority and leading their own path. Skeptics claim, “If it hasn’t already been done, then it’s not possible.” But isn’t everything we know or do today something that was once considered not to be possible?
If we never went beyond what we know and ignored the skeptical viewpoint, the Native Americans would have never met the Spanish, we would never have landed on the moon, we wouldn’t be communicating through BlackBerry’s or iPhones. Many activities in our every day lives seem impossible, yet they aren’t questioned because of commonality.
Everyone needs a scientific explanation to something before they will consider its possibility. How about considering everything that doesn’t have an explanation, then trying to explain it.
Many people let others tell them what they can do, where they can go, how they can execute it. They never see that they have control of their whole lives. Instead they turn a blind eye to the possibilities right before them.
In the last 3 years, I have flown experimental planes, broken motorcycle records, and run a marathon in less than 4 hours. I am not an aviator, or a daredevil, nor an amazing athlete. Most people never believed I could do such things. But that didn’t matter. I believed it.
I know I won’t be the next Thomas Edison, Christopher Columbus, or Wilbur Wright. I am not the brightest person, the most inventive, nor the most progressive. But like these three men, I will never let a parent, a professor or a friend discourage me from challenging my limits and questioning what I know.
The impossible IS possible. I believe that the greatest changes came from those people who accepted this without question. See what no one else sees. See what everyone else chooses not to see, out of fear, conformity or laziness. There are the answers.
There is more to life than we know. I believe it is up to us to figure that out.
This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.