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Once again, I, like Rip Van Winkle, have slept as the world changed.  I've gone
along my entire life laughing at tales of folks trying to turn base metals into gold.  I've always thought of alchemists as madmen and failures.  I apologize.

I've recently learned that mercury can be turned into gold; if one has a nuclear reactor or particle accelerator handy, anyone, too, can turn mercury into gold.   Of course, it takes a lot of mercury to extract a tiny amount of gold at a cost that would make even Donald Trump choke, but, once again, the “impossible” has been achieved.

When I was a kid, going to the moon was an impossible task, yet we did it in '69.

I'm sure my great grandparents said that man will never fly, yet Orville and Wilbur did in 1903.

Did any of you folks about my age ever believe we would be communicating with computers and cell phones or producing electricity with nuclear power?  Yet, we are.

I'm not a “Rah-Rah” kind of guy.  Never have been; never will be.  Still, I must at least whisper a “Holy-Moly” in the face of things once thought impossible which now are commonplace.

If we pay attention to history, we would not limit ourselves by our own doubts about that which is possible.

Most of my friends are much younger than I am…and for good reason.  The most boring human beings I've ever encountered are those who after a few years of living develop the habit of thinking in terms of limitations.  Give me a young person who is still too damned ignorant to “know” what is possible and what is not.

One of the saddest things I witness are young folks who limit themselves by thinking of almost any achievements they may be able to make as impossible.  There should be an island to place these folks on to keep them from influencing those who see the possibilities including the “impossibles” in their lives.  Oh yeah, there is such a place: the Isle of Hopelessness, of Despair, of Indifference.  Enjoy your stay there.  As for the rest of us, we need to take one step closer to our impossibles.

I didn't set out to write a feel good essay, but, damn it, I can't help myself.  The following quotes should inspire the most jaded among us.

“It always seems impossible until it's done.” - Nelson Mandela

“Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing.” - G. M. Trevelyan

To the timid and hesitating everything is impossible because it seems so.” - Sir Walter Scott

“Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.” - Robert A. Heinlein

“What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.” - Anthony Robbins

“The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking.” - Robert Schuller

“It's kind of fun to do the impossible.” - Walt Disney

I agree with Walt.  You may not turn mercury into gold, but there are worthy things each of us can accomplish.  It may not be an earth shaking technical or scientific development.  It may be as simple as achieving a personal goal or creating a better life for yourself and those you love.

Death will finally catch up with each of us, but in the meantime, we need to move forward as though the seemingly impossible or at least implausible might happen if we keep pushing forward.  Too often, we get so caught up in our daily lives with all of the damned things which tend to want to knock us to our knees that we lose sight of what is possible.  All we can do is take a step forward each day to achieve our “impossibles.”

I must admit, I'm a little embarrassed by my own enthusiasm.  Well, it's off to write something negative.  I can only be positive for a limited time.  At 73 I guess I should be a little more reserved.  Oh, well.