A colleague recently told me of a crisis at home: his 8-year-old had asked her mom, “Is there really a Santa Claus?” Caught off guard by the girl’s penetrating, inquisitive stare, Mom caved, admitting “No, it’s Mom and Dad.” The child was crushed and inconsolable. A common enough tale, but there was something about the story that bothers me – especially in these economic times.

Believing in Santa Claus is good for all of us – particularly those of us in America right now. Why? Well, the knee-jerk answer might be: “For sales, of course, Christmas is all about buy, buy, buying! And that’s good for the economy.” But I say there is a far more meaningful reason why believing in Santa Claus contributes to our economy.

It’s the belief in what many think is unbelievable. It’s a nod to the magic of imagination. It’s permission to not only open the boxes magically left under the tree by a fantastic, jolly old being, but to believe that strange and wonderful things can – and do – happen. Those boxes can plant the seeds, for some for “thinking outside the box” in the future.

Santa

For those who innovate – whether in business, creative activities or intellectual pursuits – time is spent defending ideas that the crowd says are as foolish as believing in Santa Claus. Yet, a belief in magic allows us to conceive of, and sometimes even create, truly marvelous things. So support for believing in the unbelievable helps us stand up to the naysayers, keep our minds open to imagination and trust in our beliefs.

Some may say this is a reach, but I would go so far as to say that belief in the unbelievable is part of our national character. America is a nation of innovators and entrepreneurs: people who do the unbelievable. Surely, a pinch of that comes from a commitment to magical, transformative ideas.

This concept, left behind by the majority of adults, continues to encourage some – and not just 8-year-olds. The wonder and excitement of something fantastic, the possibility of the magical, can give rise to other possibilities and the magic of new enterprises – even if to some they seem as improbable as Santa Claus.

I know this because I come from a long line of believers. My grandfather, who founded a publically traded company in Cleveland – creating jobs and paying taxes while building a worldwide enterprise – also created what he called his “Fairy Grab Bag.” It was his holiday gift to his employees. As each hand went into to that bag, it pulled out a fantastical treasure: a glass animal, a game from a far-off land, a joke or trick. These delight-filled gifts were the height of the Christmas season.

His son, my father, went on to create an innovative, reverse M&A company. Upon coming home from business trips when we were little, he would report that fairies or elves had hidden special treats for us: kaleidoscopes and lollipops with wooden sticks (“sure proof that they were magical,” since all the other pops had paper sticks).

So here I am, a believer who would remind you that it is from belief and imagination that wonderful things grow – the kind we need now to spark our economy.

A typical launch for a new blog? No, but this is what you can expect from us here at UbiCare and TPR Media: not typical content, but rather innovative thinking and resources to inform new ways of accomplishing things, solving problems and saving time, effort and money.

Ultimately, we believe it’s connections that matter. That’s why for 9 years it has been our mission to enhance and streamline how healthcare providers connect with and care for their patients in ways that make it simpler and better for the patients, the staff who support them, and the institutions that are committed to careful and responsible caring. Today, that is with email, Facebook, Twitter and text messaging. Tomorrow, it will be some other unbelievable out-of-the-box idea, and we will share it with you … because we believe.

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