Enlightened Conflict

unicorns & rainbows

April 5th, 2012

“The unicorn is a lonely, solitary creature that symbolizes hope.” – Ally McBeal

So. This is about unicorns.

And I guess about people who see unicorns.

Crazy? Sure.  Sounds it.

But hopefully it also makes you think about the people who seem to keep a vision of hope … and use it, however they elect to keep that hope at hand, to help them through the days and weeks.

So. This thought all began after watching this Ally McBeal episode the other day. I felt compelled to write about hope and, well, unicorns and how sometimes people go to some extreme, if not bizarre, ways to hold on to some light in seemingly dark days.

And while the episode was about the holidays I thought it was pretty relevant for any day (these days).

What do I mean?


I was going to try and right some whizbang words but instead I found something that someone wrote on their blog (sorry .. forgot who) that seemed to create the perfect reason for why seeing unicorns is perfectly acceptable …

What has made it challenging for me to write this is the darkness that I experience through the world’s anguish at this time. I am not living in days of light—I am living in days in need of light. I need to remember in this time of darkness that there are many who are seeking light.

I listen to the rantings of politicians who seem far more caught up in ideology and party positioning than they do in honestly meeting the deep challenges of our economy, the needs of our people, and caring for our planet. I witness the kindest of people being too busy to adequately separate their own food waste and recycling from their trash to reduce the build-up of what is becoming our planetary garbage dump. I witness fires and weather destroying lives and property and then reflect on the consequence of our priorities when we are unable to respond adequately. In this season of cold, I see the homeless in our own community seeking shelter from the wet and the winter.

And even, perhaps, more sharply, I returned from Israel more aware than ever of the incredibly wide divide between the humanity we perceive and the inhumanity shown by the actions of the leaders in that troubled region.

Right here at home, I am troubled by the inaction of so many of us who speak words of reconciliation, words of peace, words of promise, yet continue to find enemies who need to be stopped rather than people who need to be invited into the dialogue.

Yes, all that is true, yet I need to remember in this time of darkness that there are many who are seeking light.

Look. That sounds … well … dark. But I elect to focus on the ‘light’ or the refusal to give up on hope portion.

I don’t know if it’s the economy or the news or a general feeling of unrest but I do believe a lot of people just seem to be more empty these days. Well. Certainly less full of hope if they aren’t completely empty.

And in this Ally McBeal episode someone was fired for saying he saw a unicorn.

Well. I would imagine all of us would take this with a grain of salt (if not believe the person had completely lost their mind).

Yet the judge in the episode suggests “there are a lot of lonely people out there, looking for hope in strange places.”

In the end the judge decides that those people can keep their unicorns.

You know? It sounds a little crazy … and Whipper (the judge on Ally McBeal) was a quasi-nutcase on a show full of nutcases … but … you know what? I agree.

Some people need to believe that they have seen a unicorn. It doesn’t mean they are nuts … people need to find hope however they can … some people just see the unicorn as hope.

And, frankly, (and one of the characters says this also) … why should anyone have any say in where a person may look for that hope?

For god’s sake … all people want to be happy … and different people just get there in different ways. And if someone elects to use a unicorn? Well, geez, it could be worse, couldn’t it?

One of the characters in the episode says … “who’s to say the ones who dream of unicorns aren’t the lucky ones these days.”

I know … I know … this sounds nuts … but think about it.

Supposedly people who see them share some of the unicorn’s traits … they may be lonely but with virtuous hearts.

Mythology also suggests that only pure spirits can approach the unicorn.

In the Ally McBeal episode Ally recalls one time when she touched a unicorn and the character who saw it said he didn’t get close to the unicorn … but (here is the part that maybe makes you think a little) …  “but he won’t have another chance if he stops believing in the unicorn.”

Ok. That is a bigger thought than just a wacky tv show.

If we ask all people to stop “believing in unicorns” do people lose any chance of reaching what they hope for?



The unicorn is a symbol of innocence and purity.

I know all of this sounds crazy (and it even looks crazy as I type it) … but … don’t we really want more of these people in today’s world?

In fact … chinese mythology says the fact that a unicorn has not been seen in many centuries suggests that we are living in “bad” times. It will appear once again when the time is right and when goodness reigns.

So maybe the people who see unicorns are actually the hope for the rest of us. Maybe they are the ones “where goodness reigns.”


If it isn’t that “big” … maybe someone who sees a unicorn somehow just feels safer. And I have no right to not allow someone that right in today’s world.

Also (and … boy … coming from a realist like me … this is gonna sound really odd) … I don’t know if I can explain it, but knowing that maybe someone out there can actually see a unicorn … well … maybe in a weird way they give me hope.

Now that I have typed that … it reminds me of something else another character said …

And, I’m afraid say it out loud because maybe if life finds out it’ll try to beat it out of them and that will be a shame.

Because, we all can use a little hope sometimes, you know. That feeling that everything’s going to be okay and that there’s going to be someone there to help make sure of that.

There are people who can make you believe in things you can’t see. and I think we miss that these days.


It’s a hard time for everyone these days but it is a particularly hard time for dreamers these days.

We all tend to think of dreams as a big, fluffy cloud that is surrounded by rainbows and unicorns.

So instead of ‘unicorns & rainbows’ we tend to focus on a mission … that everything in our lives would instantly be perfect if only we could have ABC, or do XYZ.


Maybe that the mission is really the fantasy … or, at minimum, part of the problem.

Maybe all those ‘missions’ are cramming up all our space that would have held dreams. And, really, this isn’t about going after your dreams but rather dreaming … and having hope … for something good and big and … well … maybe something that isn’t always tangible but intangible that lifts the heart and spirit.

I say all of this knowing that some readers will think this is wacky … but I also hope that people realize there is no right or wrong answer.

Being in the hope business is tricky these days and, as I said earlier, it’s tough being a dreamer these days.


In fact I almost wish I was in the used rainbow business. I think people would be willing to buy discount dreams and discounted rainbows. What I mean by that is people would be willing to set aside the ‘big’ dreams and maybe pick up someone else’s that have been discarded … and they still look pretty good to reality.

In the meantime … maybe I should look for some people who make wishes on rainbows and see unicorns.

Cause I know it’s not really in my personal DNA to see unicorns.

And maybe that means I am not one of the lucky ones.

Maybe we need more rainbows (used or not).

Maybe we need more people who can see unicorns.

Here is what I am absolutely sure we need.

I do know is that hope is a must.

If you don’t have it, you’ve got to find it … lapses in hope happen and are okay … but you have to find it however you must … and maybe that is why I agree with the judge in Ally McBeal … let those people have their unicorns … who am I to judge on how someone holds on to hope.


Ally McBeal was an odd tv show.

But several episodes are must see for everyone.

This is one.

It may just remind you that seeing unicorns isn’t as wacky as you thought it was.


One Coment

  • Gil Bar-On says on: January 7, 2017 at 4:32 am


    Thank you! :-)
    This was a wonderful post!
    I was about to write something about the important of having Hope and I looked for a picture of Unicorn since this symbolizes hope for me and then I’ve found your post! :-)
    I feel like this was written just for me so thank you! I’m one of those “Dreamers”…
    Now I’m about to watch this episode for the first time..
    Lots of Love & Pixie Dust for you! 😀
    With a Big Hug,
    Gil <3

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Enlightened Conflict