Nesrin Danan

I Believe In A World Full Of Positive Possibilities

I learned fairly recently that we live in what is called a “plausible world.” Perhaps it is not really a world full of positive possibilities as I was hoping. I still believe that we can live in a world full of positive possibilities, but right now it mostly seems like the world is full of red tape. It is a world where something doesn’t just happen because we all want it to happen. It is a world where things happen only because it is the next step in what is probable could happen. As deemed by whom?

I grew up daydreaming. I believed in overnight change. I learned about revolutions in history class and felt like we could have one at any time. I didn’t know that first we need a lot of people to protest and that we need politicians who have gone to the right schools. We need the artists to express the revolution and we need the writers to inspire us. A revolution could take years or decades.

At the last presidential election, Bernie Sanders said that if he were elected president, he would legalize marijuana for the entire United States on his first day in office. Andrew Yang, another presidential candidate, said that he would enact Universal Basic Income, which would take money from the wealthiest Americans and give it to the rest as sort of a permanent stimulus check arrangement. Whether you support these platforms or not, this is the level of change that I thought was possible when I was a kid.

The internet inspired me in my early 20s. Is it possible to make a social media post about an invention idea and get an email within hours with a contract to make your idea into a reality? Could perhaps one of your friends or family members see your social media post with your invention idea and pass it off to the right person? It turns out that this is unlikely. Is it possible that you could take a selfie of a makeup look, post it to social media, and then see it around New York City that afternoon when you’re done with your homework and are walking to class? It turns out that this is also unlikely, even if a lot of people have seen your look and liked your look.

The world is a realistic place, as it turns out. The world says that in order to invent something you need money, a prototype, and a staff of thousands of people. You need to have connections in order to make an invention. In the HBO show Girls, one character designs an app, and then he becomes a success in a fairly short amount of time. How did he get from the idea phase to having a New York City office full of staff? We never find out. And how does a makeup look take off? Nobody knows.

In our world of realistic problems, it’s unlikely that an ex will text you back years down the line, even if you were best friends for years. You say, “What’s up?” Maybe he wants to talk to you. Maybe he thinks that it will be a great experience. But it’s not plausible that he’d text you back. Those are the rules. If you don’t live in a plausible world and instead live in a world full of positive possibilities, it would be possible to get married to them that day. But maybe you just have a funny meme to show them.