Imagination…The Wings Beneath Our Feet

He who has learning without imagination has feet but no Wings Stanley Goldstein

The Hospital Window

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

-Unknown

Story shared from the following website: http://www.greatest-inspirational-quotes.com/hospital-window.html

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Imagination…

Live out of Your Imagination not Your History. Stephen Covey

We all have imagination. It is one of our God-given gifts.

Think of all the improvements and inventions that have come to mankind through that amazing gift called imagination!

I am in awe of those many individuals who have lived true to their imaginations in spite of adversity and great difficulty. I am grateful for each of them who have improved and inspired our world, as a result.

Dmitri Shostakovich is one such individual. I hope you will be inspired by his story!:

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH

If you’re not a classical, opera, or symphonic music fan, you may not have heard of Shostakovich by name, but there’s a good chance that you know some of his most famous works.

From his “Waltz No. 2”—used in the film Eyes Wide Shut—to his “Romance” and many astounding symphonies, Shostakovich stands in the annals of music as one of the true modern greatest, and possibly the greatest composer of the last century.

And all while facing the very-real possibility of death on a daily basis.

Dmitri Shostakovich was an extremely bright musical student and hit the ground running in his career, reeling off enough initial “hits” in terms of compositions to establish himself as one of Russia’s premiere composers.

And then along came Stalin, one of the few men to rival Hitler himself as one of history’s worst villains.  The 1930s were a time of conflict and terror throughout the world, a time when just about everyone, in one way or another, had to overcome adversity in one form or another, and Shostakovich was no exception.

Stalin had fully taken power by then, and “the Great Terror/Great Purge” in Russia had led to the deaths of many of the composer’s acquaintances and friends in government-sponsored executions and purges.overcoming adversity 6 Inspiring Stories of Overcoming Adversity You Might not Know ir t interconnectedlives 20 l as2 o 1 a 0060144769

And then, terrifyingly, Stalin’s opinion of Shostakovich soured as well.  In 1936 Shostakovich began to receive severe criticism for his work, with some of the criticism potentially coming as part of Stalin’s influence.

Stalin himself attended performances of Shostakovich’s work, and was displeased—which, in an era where dissidents were being purged, was no small thing.  What’s more, Shostakovich drew upon everything from post-Romantic to Jewish musical both—all detested by Stalin, and dangerous to be associated with.

Shostakovich was publicly denounced in the USSR—not once, but twice.  The pressure mounted.  He had his Fourth Symphony withdrawn, and lived in constant fear that he and his family would be targeted by Stalin as part of the ongoing purges.

After experiencing a slight renewal after WWII, Shostakovich was once again the target of Stalinist wrath.  He was denounced for the second time, as were other composing greats such as Sergei Prokofiev and the Armenian-born Aram Khachaturian, was denounced for allegedly “anti-Russian” themes in his music.

Here we can see a picture of the three greats together, but in the late 1940s, they all faced bans on their work and censorship, even though Shostakovich cared greatly for Russia—just not under Stalin’s iron grip.  Things seemed to be coming to a head, with his living situation a nightmare, his works suppressed, and Shostakovich’s growing fear that at any moment he would be taken to a camp, killed, or both.

Imagine not just being publicly shamed in front of your entire country, and having your living situation and social status plummet, but being unable to leave and spend every day wondering not just if it will be your last as an esteemed artist—but if it will be your last period, and that if you dare to object, it won’t just be you that suffer, but your family and friends as well.  Shostakovich and hundreds of millions of his fellow countrymen living under Stalin faced that adversity terror on a daily basis.

But he never stopped writing, and never ceased to return to his favorite themes in his suppressed, “desk drawer” works—and that of facing and trying to overcome adversity resounds throughout these pieces.

He outlived Stalin—who died in 1953—and while his troubles weren’t over, the worst of them were, and after more than a decade of terror and public humiliation, be began his resurgence into critical favor around the world, exemplifying what it means to overcome adversity, and how genius can flourish even in the darkest times.

After years of personal denouncement and private terror, Shostakovich stands today as one of the past century’s greatest artists—and without question, one of its bravest.

Story shared from the following website: http://www.interconnectedlives.com/overcoming-adversity/3/

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