Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Truth and Gravity

One of my favorite movie quotes of all time:
“Sometimes, the things that may or may not be true are the things that a man needs to believe in the most: that people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power, mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love, true love, never dies. You remember that, boy. Doesn’t matter if they are true or not. A man should believe in those things because those are the things worth believing in.” - Hub, Secondhand Lions

Just because we don't believe in something, doesn't make it real. I was reminded of this as I pulled up some Christmas music to try and beat the heat.

Let me preface this by saying, I'm like Hub. I choose to believe that life isn't some dark dismal trudge to the grave. Sure, there are tough times, but even those won't last forever. There is always something new to be learned, something to dream about, something to reach for, and something to gain. Yes, there are times when evil seems to triumph, but I believe it won't stay that way for long.  When it comes to holidays, I believe in the spirit behind them. Sure, they are mostly centered around greeting cards, feasting until we pop, or other gifts, but the best gift we can give is our time, love, and attention to those around us. I look for things/people that inspire and move me. That's probably why I'm such a lover of art.

So - to help beat the summer heat, I thought I'd share something a bit Christmassy.

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:
Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood. - Source

I think believing in the good things in the world - even the good stories - has merit. Afterall, just because you don't believe in gravity, doesn't mean it won't effect you. But it might help you dream about flying every once in a while.

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