Never grow a wishbone, daughter,
where your backbone ought to be.
-- Clementine Paddleford
Through the years I've carried Clementine's mother's advice around in my head. I've passed it on to students and have continue to be attracted to its meaning. And when for the first time I heard about the idea of magical thinking, I knew that Mrs. Paddleford had nailed it so many years before.
To me, magical thinking means meekly waiting around for something to happen instead of doing it for yourself. It implies to me a floppy, waffling sort of attitude to one's circumstances and, perhaps, oneself.