Listen To The Mustn’ts
Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child
Listen to the DONT’S
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me –
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.
Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends; New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1974
Children aren’t old enough to know what can and cannot happen. Anything is possible because immutable laws, probability, and rigidity of thinking haven’t arrived quite yet.
On one level, Silverstein is wrong. No matter how hard I flap my arms, I won’t achieve lift-off.
On the deepest level, Silverstein is spot on: miracles happen every day, and nothing can be taken for granted. It’s amazing that I forget this, considering I claim these words as gospel truth:
But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. (John 21:25, NRSV)