Doves, boats and trains

Today one of my profs read a passage out of some crazy book from 1903- what he read was very profound. I’ll do my best to paraphase.

He said…

The thing that the dove must overcome is the air. If there were no air, there would be no resistance for the dove and he would be able to sore high and free. Yet, if there were no air, the dove would be trapped in a vacuum and would be unable to go anywhere, trapped. Similarily a ship must overcome and breakthrough the friction of the waters of the ocean. The water creates resistance that the ship uses it’s power to breakthrough. Yet, without water, the ship would be unable to sail. In the very same way, a train faces the friction of the wheels on the track. But without tracks, trains would be unable to go anywhere.

He was talking about how we must understand our difficulties as the very things that propels us into our future. The things that are hard or that we struggle with are the very things that reveals our power. Ultimately, our challenges gives us something to overcome, to learn from, to reflect on. A life of pure luxury, with no trials or struggles would produce selfish, weak and ignorant people who are incapable of understanding goodness.

I like this idea. I like this way of looking our struggles. The same prof also said today that we are going to “look for problems”- not just problem solve. I like this idea too- in uncovering injustice, or hate or anything dark, we are able to find outlets to use our power. We are able to become like the doves, the ships and the trains- and are able to move forward (not necessarily in linear fashion- i don’t like the notion that progress is always linear and that some people are “behind” others)- we are able to be better humans and more closely able to fully understand the world around us. Really, it comes down to perspective, like so many things in life. It’s like the choice to choose to see the shadow or the light in places where darkness and light overlap. Because really, like the Swithchfoot song says, “the shadow proves the sunshine.”


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