You Can't Do That!

Indeed, you would be a wealthy person today if you would have received $20 for every time somebody hollered in your ear, “You can’t do that!” I’ve never figured out who it is that appoints and empowers all those guardians of the culture who are so intent on policing your possibilities. But there certainly is no shortage of volunteers who are eager to tell you not only that “you can’t,” but also give you “viable” reasons why you can’t. 

I have discovered, however, that one of the greatest joys in life is accomplishing something that other people adamantly declare cannot be accomplished. There seems to be within the nature of mankind a spirit that resists the declaration of the impossible. We want to keep turning the tumblers of the combination lock until we hear that magical “click” that opens the hasp. 

The intriguing history of Project C.U.R.E. is a simple sequence of happenings and miracles that people declared up and down would not and could not take place. I recall the prodigious occasion of my receiving a personal invitation from Great Leader Kim IL Sung to travel to North Korea and join him in celebrating his 81st birthday. I would be required to obtain a visa to be able to travel to Pyongyang. 

Let your imagination run as to the reaction of the staff persons in charge of the “Korea Desk” at the Department of State Building in Washington D.C. when we informed them of the personal invitation and the simple request for help in securing a visa to Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “No, you don’t have a personal invitation from North Korea. We can’t get anybody into Pyongyang. You will be held hostage there. It is a Hermit Country and you can’t go there! We are here to keep people like you from creating an international incident.” 

Well, it’s been about 19 years since my first trip to DPRK. I have returned eight times and, believe it or not, the US State Department even entrusted some of the top DPRK decision makers to me and allowed them to come to Colorado and stay in our guest house. We have taken millions of dollars worth of medical goods to the needy people of that country. I was there when the dam broke on the Yalu River and tens of millions of dollars worth of damage occurred. We were the only ones to go to their aid. And there is a certain sense of pleasure that comes when I hold in my hand the first shipping license issued to Project C.U.R.E. by the U.S. Commerce Department and Department of State to deliver ocean going cargo containers of donated medical goods directly into the North Korean port of Nampo. 

I believe that one day in the not-too-distant future there will be a grand reunification of the two Koreas. I have even presented to the United Nations a paper encouraging those possibilities. But always in my ears I hear people saying, “That can’t be done . . . you simply can’t be a part of that!” And traditional logic and perceived reality would robustly second that motion . . . “That can’t happen!” 

But I have a word of encouragement for you today. If you cradle a dream in your heart and you desperately believe that dream can take wings and fly like an eagle, and you have dedicated yourself and your creative energies to seeing that dream become reality, then, pick up that combination lock again, embrace it and begin turning the tumblers with gentle passion until you hear that God-sent “click” resound in your heart. Can you imagine the joy and excitement of seeing the hasp of that lock fall open and with your own eyes, what others had declared, “That can’t happen, ”. . . you actually see become reality?