Magical Thinking

For as long as I can remember—and my memory roughly stretches back to when “Thriller” was in regular rotation on MTV and, after being shielded from the video, I hopped my two-year-old self off my mama’s lap and danced along with the zombies—I’ve always believed that things will turn out well. Call it bright-eyed optimism or naïveté, but I like to think of it as magical thinking.

In a nutshell, magical thinking is a belief that equates thinking with doing. Some choose to call this a mental disorder, arguing that it occurs only in the dreams of the unsophisticated and is the result of a lack of reasonable care for the laws of cause and effect: I think I can fly, so if I dive off this building, I’ll glide across the rooftops; I think I will be famous, so cats will rush me for my autograph when I step out the door (the ultimate delusion of the MySpace generation).

Now I don’t think I’m crazy, per se, but I do like the way it sounds: Like I have the power to make something happen, like positive thoughts can cut a beam of light through the dark of negativity, like the Universe always works toward the greater good. And, what’s more, I believe that it’s a Truth: That if I think like an ill person, those symptoms will manifest in my body; that if I know I will screw up a project at work, I’ll do just that; that if I assume my football team will suck, it will.

And for that reason, I know in my heart that Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States of America. But I’m just sane enough to know that it’s not enough to just feel/think/believe it: We have to actually back up this particular bit of hope with some real work. Talking to our friends (or readers, as the case may be) really isn’t enough—chances are, most folks with whom we regularly associate feel the same way we do. Nope, we’re just reinforcing our beliefs and preaching to the choir. We have to use our resources to spread the word, to reach out to those among us who are enamored with the movement, but haven’t yet registered to vote (yes, even cousin Pookie). We have to make calls to battleground states, where a few thousand “undecided” voters could make all the difference come November 4th. We have to canvass in our own neighborhoods—both where we live now and where we came from. We have to do more than speak truth to power; we have to put thought to action. And we have to bring others along with us.

So I ask each of you to commit to doing at least one thing over the next 43 days, then come back and tell us how you’re helping the cause. I’ll make it easy for you:

Send voter registration info to someone else here.
Sign up to canvass and call here.
Find an event in your area here.
Request an absentee ballot if you’re an American living in a state or country other than where you are registered here.
Donate to the cause here.


If you like Kenrya’s opinion, check out the rest of her posts here.

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