Roald Dahl & Shel Silverstein on Thinking Beautiful Thoughts

When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: ‘Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve’. ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Everyone knows, intuitively, that art precludes science. Everyone knows the poet is better at distilling the truths of the universe than a team of the greatest engineers. Not that the latter, in either case, is at all less meaningful. Or necessary. It’s just that science is slow, because it has to know, empirically, what it true, whereas the poet and the sage have never been encumbered by such necessities. Science, on the other hand — ever the doting little brother of art — tags along behind, picking up the papers the sage is shedding, pushing the glasses up on his nose and frantically assessing all of the data: “…lets see, yup, this is true… this is true… this is malarky! …we have no idea about this… and this doesn’t even make sense! …”

So on and so forth. This holds true for many things as of late. Science is beginning to back many ancient beliefs with its recent findings. Among these is the understanding of the power of positive thinking. Quantum mechanics, neuroplasticity, epigenetics and many other emerging fields are beginning to bring light to just how much our perspective — forever in the mind — creates our reality and affects our health. Yet have a five minute conversation with any 6 year old on the topic and they’ll most likely tell you this matter-of-factly. They already know, just as many of the best children’s writers have always known.

Following are two such examples. The first is a page out of Roald Dahl’s wonderful story, The Twits. It spells out this idea quite clearly. Below that is a classic from Shel Silverstein, displaying, without any words at all, the plight of those poor, sensitive souls who are naturally given to thinking the most tender thoughts in our society, and the fate that too often befalls them.

Please, take a few moments out of your busy day to ponder these simple bits of wisdom, arisen as they have from two of the most beloved tale-spinners of our time.

roald dahl

thoughts, compassion, shel silverstein