When I was a child I was fascinated with the Aladdin story where he rubs the lamp and a genie pops out to grant him three wishes. What a gift, right? The genie just snaps his fingers and voila, wishes granted! What kid doesn’t dream up his own three wishes? A new car, a million dollars, the perfect body?
So one day during my high school years I was having a conversation with a friend and asked him what he would wish for if he had three wishes. Money, a hot girlfriend, and a kickin’ car was his answer. Then he asked me what I’d wish for and I said a million dollars, the perfect body, and 3 more wishes. 😉 We played the “wishing for more wishes” game for a while until our list of things we wanted was pretty long.
But as I got on in years I began to reconsider what I would really wish for if I was ever presented with the opportunity. You have to be prepared for everything right? And if a genie ever did pop out of a lamp and offer me three wishes I wanted to be ready. Around this time I’d seen a lot of tv shows and read books about people’s wishes backfiring on them; like when the guy wishes for a million dollars so the genie kills his wife who had a million dollar life insurance policy on her. So as I thought about my wishes I wanted to make sure there would be no loop holes.
My first wish was for world peace. But then I realized it probably wouldn’t last because people would just revert to fighting again. You really have to earn world peace. So my wish was this: For 48 hours only I want the world to be in a state of total love and total peace so that when the world reverts back to its previous state after 48 hours people will have had just a taste of what could be achieved if we work really hard at this. Basically an incentive to change their ways when they could see the reward awaiting them.
My second wish was for everyone to be afflicted with a sense of conscience. I figured if people really cared about how their actions affected others they would make better choices.
My third wish was for everyone on our planet to have their basic needs taken care of: food, clothing, shelter, etc.
I carried those wishes around with me for a long time, ready to present them to my genie when he appeared. Hey, luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparedness and I wasn’t going to be caught napping if a genie ever appeared to me.
As I grew older and matured I realized that making wishes that affect the world was not actually my responsibility. I realized that my true responsibility on this planet was just to work on myself. It’s not that I didn’t care about the rest of the planet, of course I did. It’s just that I realized the only person I had the right to mess with was myself. People need to grow and learn at their own rate, for their own reasons. So my three wishes changed again. I thought long and very hard about it but really the answer to the three wishes question turned out to be very simple once I tuned in to what I really and truly wanted out of my life. Today, these are still my three wishes:
To really know myself.
To really know another.
For another to really know me.
That’s it. In my heart I believe these are the three most powerful wishes I could make. These are the wishes that provide me the most growth and insight into my own self. I believe that when you fully know yourself you really understand the universe. What is the saying? “Know a grain of sand completely, and you will know the universe in its entirety.” When Steve and I first met, I shared these wishes with him and he understood how important they were to me and how much thought I put into making them. Steve and I share everything; our thoughts, experiences, hopes, dreams, desires, fears, pain, and disappointments. He is the one I’ve chosen to know completely, and he understands how important it is to me that he completely knows me as well.
What I didn’t realize when I made these three wishes is that the genie was inside of me. I had the power to make all three wishes come true on my own. I stopped looking for the lamp.
There’s a genie inside of you waiting to hear your three wishes; in fact, he may already be granting your wishes even if you don’t realize you’re making them. Are you consciously choosing your wishes? Be careful what you wish for, you will get it.
What are your three wishes?
You have been granted three wishes—congratulations. If you wish wisely, your wishes may bring you great happiness. Before wishing, please take a moment to read the following frequently asked questions.
- Do my wishes have an expiration date?
No. Your wishes are good until used. Once you have made a wish, however, you cannot revoke it, except by using another wish, should any remain.
- May I wish for absolutely anything?
A wish, if it is to be granted, must not violate the physical laws of the universe. You may wish for a particular co-worker to be fired (for example), or for Mt. Everest to collapse into a heap of rubble; you may not wish to live literally forever, or for the speed of light to be lowered to five miles an hour.
- May I use one of my wishes to wish for more wishes?
No. You have been granted exactly three wishes. You cannot increase that number by wishing.
- What happens if I merely think a wish?
No wish will be executed until you speak it out loud, so “wishful thinking” does not count. Note: If you inadvertently use one of your wishes to render yourself permanently speechless—by turning yourself into a pig, for example, or by wishing that you were dead—you will be unable to use your remaining wishes, if any are left, to correct the error.
- How specific do I have to be? If I wish for “world peace,” will you know what I’m talking about?
As a practical matter, no one ever wishes for “world peace.” But it is always best to be specific. “I wish for my penis, when erect, to measure eighteen inches in length and six inches in diameter” is clear and concise—and it counts as one wish only, because length and diameter are two dimensions of the same object. “I wish for my penis, when erect, to measure eighteen inches in length and six inches in diameter, and I want it to be erect all the time” is two wishes. “I wish to be a global celebrity, but not Michael Jackson or Tom Cruise” is three.
- If I wish for money, how much may I wish for?
There is no preset limit. However, you should keep in mind that money has value only in a functioning economic system. If you wish for “all the money in the world,” you may have no opportunity to spend your fortune. It is best to be both realistic and unambiguous. If you wish merely for “great wealth” or “untold riches,” you could end up with (for example) attractive grandchildren, stimulating hobbies, or a clean bill of health.
- How come people who get three wishes always seem to wish for something that they regret, big-time—like that woodcutter and the sausages?
The grantor of your wishes does not take ironic pleasure in human folly. Nevertheless, you alone are responsible for the outcome of your wishing. Hint: Avoid phrases that are open to catastrophic interpretation, such as “for the rest of my life.” Also, keep in mind that the media tends to focus on wishes that turn out badly. “Man gets three wishes and lives happily ever after” is not considered news.
- Can I use one of my three wishes to guarantee that neither of my other wishes will have negative consequences that I failed to foresee?
Hmm. I’m going to say no. ♦