Wish is a wasted verb in the English language. Totally useless. Means nothing. Well, it
obviously means something, but it is meaningless in everyday application. Let’s
I think that too many use the word wish as a mean of trying to justify the want or desire
for a certain outcome, knowing that they are likely unable or unwilling to affect that
outcome. So we make a wish, hoping that the fates, destiny, divine intervention or the
cosmos will somehow magically provide for us that which we desire. Think of all the
ways we use this magically connotation to try and get something.
We see a star and we wish upon it. We blow out a candle on a cake and make a wish.
We toss coins in a fountain and make a wish. We pluck an eyelash, blow on it and make
a wish. I’m sure there are many others from other cultures I’m not familiar with, but you
see the point. We, as humans, are superstitious, occult-ic people. We have always
sought to explain the unexplainable. And when we couldn’t quite explain it, we tied it to
our futures and fates as a means to deflect what we simply didn’t know.
What is our fascination with wishing? Do we perceive it as a kinder, gentler way of
saying we simply want something? Think back to what you have wished for, perhaps
that last time as a kid blowing out a candle. Did you wish for more toys, more cake, ice
cream? What about that first star you saw and made a wish? Something more? A wish
for love, for friendship, for a sick family member to be better? All these things are things
we want, maybe even need, but we are programmed from an early age that to want too
much is to be selfish or greedy. Religiously, if we want a sick family member to heal, we
may be interfering with God’s plan. So maybe ‘wishing’ for it makes it sound gentler,
more whimsical, more child-like than simply stating to the world, “I want this, damn it.”
The other side of wishing is our inaction to do anything to actually make our wish
(want/need) come true for ourselves. Wish becomes a two-sided sword of destiny when
it either gives us what we wished for (usually through our own work or sometimes luck)
or when we use it as a scapegoat for things not happening the way we wanted. We’ve
heard people exclaim “Wishes do come true” when something good happens to them,
like winning a lottery. Sure, they probably wished they would win, but was it their power
of wishing or the random draw of painted numbered ping pong balls that brought them
I know, you could ask what’s wrong with a wish? It’s fun, it’s fanciful, it’s harmless.
Perhaps, but I think as we shift in this modern society to a mindset of deflecting
responsibility and accountability for ourselves and our lives, wishes can become
weapons. We need to understand that we are not entitled to anything, that we really
have to put in the effort and work required to make things happen, the best that we can,
in all that we can.
Go ahead, blow the candle out.