Friday, November 10, 2006

Firsts

This election has a lot of things to have an opinion about (thanks for getting out the vote!). I'll limit mine to a hearty approval of several firsts:

Aside from the fact that this means we're increasingly adding diverse voices to the chorus that is democracy, to me it also indicates a gradual opening of thought to the possibilities for everyone. Some might argue that it's been too gradual, but I'd respond, Well, at least it's happening.

When you think about it, the story of human history is all about firsts. Isn't history class often about who did what first? The first people to use paper, the first people to make silk, the first people who traversed the Aleutians. Once somebody does it, there it is, available for other people to do it, too.

Remember breaking the four-minute mile? I mean, I don't remember it personally. If you can believe it, it happened over 50 years ago. Roger Bannister made that historic run on May 6, 1954. Once he did that, though, John Landy ran even faster six weeks later.

Wikipedia says this:

The four minute mile, in athletics, is the running of a mile (1,609.344 metres) in under four minutes. It was once thought to be impossible but has now been achieved by many male athletes. Those who do may be known as 'four-minute men'. In the 1940s running a four minute mile was thought to be the physical limit of the human body. However, it is now the standard of all professional middle distance runners, and in the last 50 years the 4 minute barrier has been lowered by almost 17 seconds.

The point is, everyone thought it was impossible. But then somebody did it. Then suddenly more and more *could* do it. Now, apparently, it's become a standard.

To me, this is about giving your consent. To achieve the impossible, we must first give our consent to doing it. One lonely soul does it first, then others see the possibilities and pick up on it. We herald the first one even as we strive to emulate it.

"Impossibilities never occur," declares Mary Baker Eddy. "One instance like the foregoing proves it possible …" She's talking about an old woman who appeared young, and the sentiment is universally true. (Science and Health)

The first to fly a plane. The first to swim the Channel. The first to walk on the moon. Considered impossible—crazy even. But firsts make headlines.

What's impossible in your life? Maybe you could be first, too. First, know that you *can.*


Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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