I’ve Been Thinking

The New Year is almost upon us, and, funny, what popped into my head is an old ditty I learned as a child in the schoolyard of Public School 104 in Bayswater, Queens. It goes: “Reuben, Reuben, I’ve been thinking what a fine world it would be, if all the men were transplanted, far across the Northern Sea.”

Well, post-election, some women may be feeling that way…but that’s really not the point of the song. What is the point is that as children, we think idealistically about what would make this a fine world. Surely, the elimination of hunger, disease, hatred and fear might be on every child’s list.

As children, we still have the magical imagination to ponder what a fine world would look like. And as children, we have the freedom to “think big”, “go high”, “dream out of the box”. Those are the skills I believe the arts preserve for a lifetime. But, that’s another story. It’s no wonder we remember fondly Peter Pan’s emphatic declaration: “I won’t grow up. I don’t want to grow up. Not me.” Me neither. Happy New Year.

*Blogger’s note: Sometimes the lyric is “strange” instead of “fine,” as the way this blogger learned the song.

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