I’m pretty sure that this will be the first time that Wayne Dyer, the motivational speaker, and Uncle Remus will ever have been mentioned in the same sentence. In his latest book, Wishes Fulfilled, Dyer writes about imagination as the foundation for manifesting one’s desires. “Everything that now exists was once imagined. And everything that will ever exist must first be imagined.”
A few nights ago I watched the PBS special that complements the book. Dyyer was passionate about the primacy of imagination. He exhorts the audience repeatedly that the imagination is yours and yours alone. It’s sacred. Don’t let ANYBODY tell you what you can put in it, or what is possible or not possible. We must take particular care to nurture the imagination of children so they grow up to be adults who can manifest their highest dreams and potentials.
So where does Uncle Remus come into this? Joel Chandler Harris, (the author of the Remus tales) knew something about the power of imagination. The Uncle Remus tales, in my opinion, stand as the great Arabian Nights of American literature. More than mere entertainment though, Brer Rabbit and his cohorts show us the way, for better and worse to navigate the world of human circumstance and nature.
Listen! Here comes the Teenchy Tiny Duck waddling along this way. What is that she’s cackling about?
“Purty Money, purty Money, Who lost their purty money?” It seems that Teenchy Tiny just found a purse full of gold coins. Here’s the gist of the story and the gem of it.
A rich man hears Teenchy’s cry and quickly claims the purse as his own. When Teenchy’s master finds out about the find and quick loss of the purse, Teenchy is banished until she can retrieve the treasure. She disconsolate, but then who should appear but Brer Rabbit with this bit of encouragement. “There’s always a way if not two.”
Fortified with this sage advice, a very determined duck heads out to reclaim her fortune. Along the way she meets Brer Fox, Brer Wolf, Uncle Ladder, Grandpappy River, and a hive of bees. All of them offer to help. Each of them then jumps in her ‘stretching satchel’ and each in turn plays a part in saving Teenchy from the murderous schemes of the rich man to eliminate the duck. Spoiler alert … against all odds Teenchy returns with the loot.
As Uncle Remus relates the story to the Little Boy, the child grows increasingly incredulous. He wonders aloud what his mother would say about a ladder fitting into a sack let alone a river. But Remus chides him. His mother isn’t there, she isn’t likely to be there, and there’s no reason this isn’t as worthy as any of the many other tales the boy has heard.
Uncle Remus takes an uncompromising stand for the imagination. He’s not even going to let the boys mother interfere in the realm of possibiliites.
Between Brer Rabbit who reminds Teenchy that there’s always a way, and her stretching sack, Teenchy Tiny can prevail against all odds, and by inference in this tale and so many of the others, so can we.
We just need a good stretching sack, and as Uncle Remus and Wayne Dyyer remind us, we’ve all got one. Our imaginations are our stretching sack, and we can put anything we want to into that sack. We have to guard it and not let any other presume to tell us what it can hold. If we can do that,we just may find a way, or two out of whatever predicament we find ourselves in.
What will you put in your stretching sack today?