Wishing It Were So
By Cathleen Elise Rossiter
“Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
This week, while finally trimming the verge after weeks of wishing the garden were not so overgrown, the song “Wishin’ and Hopin'” sung by Dionne Warwick kept running through my head as well as the painting of the little girl gathering flowers by Jessie Wilcox Smith (above). The following fable with its corresponding lessons is the result of my latest encounters with art.
The Little Girl Who was Quite Fond of Wishing
Once upon a time there was a little girl who was quite fond of wishing. She was quite fond of wishing, in fact, that she spent all of her time doing so.
“I wish the kids in school liked me.”
“I wish I did better on my math test.”
“I wish Johnny would ask me to the dance.”
She spent so much time wishing that she no longer realized that she was doing it. Eventually, her wishes began to take different forms:
“I can’t wait until school is over.”
“I can’t wait until Friday.”
“I should have gotten that part in the play.”
“If I were class president, we’d have an awesome school.”
“I wish I could play soccer like Mary Sue.”
One morning, while brushing her hair, she looked in the mirror just as she finished wishing she had hair like Sally MacPhereson in Mrs. Jones’ class. For the first time in her life, the little girl saw something quite unexpected; she saw a beautiful person with hair that far outshone that of Sally MacPhereson in Mrs. Jones’ class. The face staring back at her was that of an intelligent person who had great ideas and, in spite of a perceived laziness from all the wishing for the easy way out, the face reflected in the mirror actually loved to work hard and get things done.
The little girl who was quite fond of wishing looked into the eyes staring at her and finally saw herself. From that moment, the little girl who was quite fond of wishing refused to use her wishes as another form of complaining, was careful not to make a wish for anything that she would not work hard to make happen, and never – ever – wished to be like anyone else (because really, it’s rather wonderful being one-of-a-kind).