Infinite Possibilities Created Daily

Article excerpt

Byline: Kate Tsubata, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A true story: A group of men were discussing whether people can change. Some argued any one could be anything; it was a matter of choice. One person strongly disagreed and grabbed a salt shaker to illustrate his point. "You see this salt shaker? Some people are like this salt shaker: They can only hold a certain amount of salt, no matter what you do. They can't change, that's all they can handle."

The group turned to an elderly man who was sitting there, listening to them argue. "Don't you agree?" the last speaker asked, pointing to the salt shaker.

Gently, the older man picked up the salt shaker, unscrewed the top, and poured out the salt, to the surprise of the others. "Even if someone only can contain a certain amount, we can always take out the salt and put in something else more precious - like gold," he said.

This story reminds me of the constant struggle between the finite and the infinite. Our life is full of both. We have a finite number of minutes, hours, days and years upon this earth. We have a finite body with a finite height and number of organs. That's our salt shaker.

We can, however, choose what to put into those finite structures - and those things can be infinite. Education is an infinite substance - it opens the mind and frees our ability. I remember learning to read and suddenly being transported to other worlds, other times, other places, other experiences - through books. I can read the same book that someone can read in Kenya or Australia, in a palace or a prison. Each of us can escape the finite circumstances by delving into that story. It's like a passport into a million universes.

Another infinite element is love. Filling our minds with love lets us bridge time and space. We can love someone on the other side of the world the same as we love someone standing next to us. We can love someone who has died, or someone who has yet to be born. We can love as largely and as unstoppably as the universe itself. …