This week’s Thursday Tidbits considers the 11th possibility as defined on rarasaur’s wonderful blog series, Prompts for the Promptless. The series is not just for bloggers but for anyone who wants to stretch and flex the mind. To me, that is where the 11th possibility resides:
“The 11th Possibility is the idea that, regardless of data to the contrary, something unexpected and outside the realm of ordinary thought is always potentially around the corner” (rarasaur).
Perhaps the 11th possibility is the heartbeat of curiosity, comfortable in the uncertainty that a nine out of ten result is lost in the light of the one time it is a glimpse into the unknown. We are startled into complete attention, our creativity sparked, for we see in way we did not, which makes all the difference.
Consider Albert Einstein’s thoughts on a human being in contrast to how we might consider being human:
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us ‘the universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of consciousness.
“This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening the circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty” (Einstein).
In that regard, what if we eagerly anticipate the 11th possibility–the idea that the unknown and uncertain might occur–rather than relying on the ten probabilities that precede it? Clearly, I am mixing math and probability with mere musing but the 11th possibility is so like Randall Jarrell’s sick child crying out, “all that I’ve never thought of think of me,” and so I do.
Perhaps my favorite illustration of the 11th possibility is the story of the monarch butterfly that caught a ride with Southwest Airlines. True to its own timetable, the monarch butterfly overslept in its New York state cocoon and missed the insect group flight to Texas. Thanks to a woman who simply asked an airline if it would transport a butterfly to Texas, the butterfly caught a ride to San Antonio.
“It is a grand gesture, to be sure, ushering that lonely insect back on its way — but If the gentle flap of a single butterfly’s wings can shape the weather, then perhaps the kindness shown towards saving one butterfly’s life could change the course of history for the better” (Daily Good.org)
Regardless, with a little help from each other, the uncertainty of the unknown is a mere 11th possibility. Imagine that.
This week’s video features Joe Cocker singing his rather famous reminder of our connection to one another.
Thursday Tidbits are weekly posts that offer choice bits of information to celebrate our oneness with one another through our unique perspectives. It is how we connect, how we have always connected but in the 21st century, the connection is a global one.