Sometimes a phrase, a lyric from a song, or a sentence from a book becomes your beacon or your analogy for the day. And sometimes it becomes your simile. As a reminder, a simile is that figure of speech that compares two unlikely things by using the words “like” or “as.” Today it was the lyric from the song A Drop in the Ocean:
“It’s like wishing for rain as I stand in the desert.”
All day, I went back and forth wondering if my life was like wishing for rain as I stand in the desert, and if it was, whether that was a good thing or a bad thing. Perhaps it depends on your point of view. Imagine one person standing in the desert, accepting his or her plight. All the facts point that the temperature will continue to be stifling, the sky cloudless, and the chance of precipitation nil. Hopeless. Now imagine that same situation with one difference. Instead of just standing there, the person wishes for rain. He or she has hope, or desire for something other than the current situation. Which person is more likely to seek out a different reality? I would put my bet on the one with a wish or a prayer rather than the one that accepts the sand in his or her shoes and sees the situation as hopeless.
It also makes me wonder why those of us with wishes, dreams or the ability to believe in the impossible are so threatening to those who want to shake us by the shoulders and urge us to accept reality, to face the facts? This is not a new thought. The often quoted poem “The Ode” written in 1874 by English poet Arthur O’Shaughnessy asked the same and predicts that we are the ones to make a difference.
We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
The dreamers are change agents. They won’t accept the status quo and they don’t believe in a direct cause and effect. They know that there is something that gets in predictability’s way and turns the expected to the unexpected. Hope is like having an alternative point of view.
So what is your simile for your life? What phrase will you grab on to and hold safe as the naysayers make their predictions about the likelihood that you are bound to perish in the desert? Yes, my life is like a simile with its seemingly unrelated parts safely connected with a singular belief in what could be.