Pretending can serve as the first step toward achieving our dreams.

Today on Brevity‘s blog, Lindsey DeLoach Jones illustrates “The Lost Art of Pretending: Imagining a Positive American Future” with her daughters’ play. Only by imagining what is possible, can we work toward a positive goal. Her idea of pretending focuses on our need for a “robust moral imagination.”

“We need a collective imagination like the one Martin Luther King shared at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. King insisted, “Let us not wallow in the valley of despair… Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.” At his core, Dr. King was a writer. His dream speech was wishful thinking, yes, but it was backed by action, protest, force of will. One man’s private imagination had untold constructive consequences in the real world. We seem to think we have outgrown this kind of thinking, that hope is for suckers. But to abandon the project of pretending is to abandon any hope for improvement.”

Lindsey DeLoach Jones


  1. This quote is one of MLK’s I’d not focused on in its entirety in some while. In so doing here, I found these words really resonate at this time: “to abandon the project of pretending is to abandon any hope for improvement.” I see Marie also liked those same words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sherry.

      Whenever I hear someone insist “We will always have [poverty/war/racism or whatever]” I know they have given themselves the excuse to stop fighting those things. They cannot imagine change and accept the inevitability of the status quo. That has always looked like a failure of imagination to me.

      (King’s entire speech is impressive, though most people only know the great refrain line.)


  2. Even if this is not here and maybe it is—maybe it’s not—we still have to try to get there from here because that is where we are or are we? Thank you, Dr. King—thank you, Yoko Ono—thank you, John Lennon for helping us imagine that we might still be alive and able to see some hope.

    Liked by 1 person

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