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Poverty of Imagination Is A Sin Against Yourself

Sometimes in life, you have to imagine yourself to where you want to be.  You have to create where you want to be in your life in your mind first, see what no one else can see, and speak, create, and work what only you can imagine into existence.  You especially have to do this when you don't see around you what you aspire to be, see, or do.

The inability to do this is what I would call "poverty of imagination."  I see it all around me.

I even accused a dear friend of mine of suffering from this.  She was taken aback, offended.  I told her that, in imagining all the possible ways a legal conflict could be settled to the benefit of her client, she failed to imagine other options for no other reason than that they had never been done before.

"That, my friend," I declared, "is poverty of imagination."

I then told her the story of my dad and uncle that epitomized  poverty of imagination, as told to me by one of my younger uncles.

When my dad and my uncle, his next oldest brother in age, were young children, they picked cotton alongside my widowed grandmother in the rural South during the 1930's.  My uncle said to my dad, "When we grow up, we're going to be rich, so rich that our mama is going to pick cotton in a SILK dress, not burlap!"  My dad agreed.

Neither of them could imagine the possibility of being so rich that their mother, my grandmother, would not have to pick cotton at all.

Poverty of imagination.  And poverty of imagination is worse than poverty of one's real life situation because the failure to imagine yourself out of your present circumstances will keep you in your present circumstances, no matter what they are.  Even if those circumstances are not dire, if they are not what you want, and what you want doesn't exist, you have to imagine your way out.  Your imagination is the only way out because everything starts with an idea and an intention.

I've seen this with family members who immediately disqualify themselves from a position they're interviewing for because they can't imagine that the hiring powers that be would hire them.  I see this in folks who can't imagine doing anything other than the work they're doing that they hate.  I see it when I sit in meetings and hear coworkers say, "We've just never done it that way before."

Poverty. Of. Imagination.

I believe poverty of imagination is a sin against one's self.  Why?  Who gave you that imagination? GOD!  HE put that ideas in YOU.  HE gives you the ability to imagine something different than your circumstances.  When you don't even try to imagine something different or when you reject something different simply because you've never seen it done before, it's like saying to God, "Nah, I'm good.  What You, Father God, have in store for me?  Nah, I'll pass."

REALLY?  Because what HE has for you is for YOU.  And HE isn't always going to make it appear in the physical realm.  HE puts it in your mind.  It's there for you to imagine, if and only if you are open to it.  If, in the words of The Rock, you are smelling what the Creator is cooking.

Are you?

I'm as guilty as the next person of poverty of imagination.  Right now, there are so many changes happening at my current workplace that I have been asked by coworkers whether I will be staying to see those changes through, whether I have any other plans that would cause me to jump ship, so to speak.  They tell me that the skills and exposure I have gained in my current situation make me extremely marketable as an attorney.  They say these things with what looks like a mixture of curiosity and fear in their eyes.

I told my coworkers that, no, I have no plans to leave until I finish the projects I started.

And then I broke free from my poverty of imagination and spoke my next phase of life into existence by saying this:

"But this is my last legal job."


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