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  • A Lost Art

    Posted on by Heather

    “Imagination is more important than knowledge” – Albert Einstein

    As I sit here this morning and look around my apartment I realize all the things that are at my disposal because of someone’s imagination: the computer I type on, the internet that connects me live with the rest of the world, the chair I’m sitting on, the coffee I’m drinking, the electricity that is powering the computer.  Proof of imagination is all around us! So why is it that as adults we seem to utilize this wonderful ability less and less?

    As children we are forever dreaming.  In her song “Both Sides of Now” Joni Mitchell talks about how she used to look up at the clouds and see ice cream castles, but now, they only “block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone”.  Who can remember looking up to the sky, locking eyes with the clouds and seeing the most amazing sights?  So what happens?

    It’s hard to say for sure, but, I think it has something to do with being told to “pay attention”.  Thinking back to early grade school, teachers often reprimanded students for “daydreaming” and demanded that they “quit that non-sense and pay attention”. This message repeated over and over again eventually gets through and we slowly lose the development in what is really a mental muscle – imagination.  Just as physical muscles need to be “worked out” in order to remain strong, mental muscles must also be exercised or they too will lose their strength.  We’ve all heard the phrase “use it or lose it” and it couldn’t be more true to the mental faculty imagination.

    JFK once said ” The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by the skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities.  We need men who can dream of things that never were.”

    Imagination holds all the answers to how life will be in the future.  It is up to us and we must take responsibility for this magical talent that we have all been equipped with.  Do you honestly think it’s an accident that we have this amazing ability?  I don’t!

    Take some time today, be a kid again and imagine….

    May all your “dreams” come true!

    0 Responses to A Lost Art

    1. Hi Heather,
      Awesome post!
      Reminds me of another Einstein quote – “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them.”

      As you point out – it’s time to do something different!

      I think you’re right about what school has been. It has emphasized fitting in, “behaving” (read sit quietly, don’t get excited, don’t daydream, do as I tell you to do!), and absorbing the pieces of knowledge that teachers give you – then regurgitating them successfully on a test.

      Schools have focused on knowledge, because that’s so much easier to measure than teamwork, creativity, critical thinking, empathy…

      But we’ve lost so much – we’ve lost our connection to ourselves because we’re so busy being what we’re “supposed” to be that we’ve lost sight of who we really are! And along with that, we’ve lost our creativity, our self esteem, our passion, our faith in ourselves…

      Thankfully, that’s changing!

      I’ve been noticing a shift lately – people are fed up with the emptiness, lack of human connection, all the media about feeling bad, messages that tell us we’re not good enough.

      I see differences in conversations I have with other parents, with teachers, I see it in the media (Dove’s campaigns), and most recently in music.

      I bought Sheryl Crow’s latest album – go listen to “Out of Our Heads”. You can hear a clip at http://www.sherylcrow.com.

      Thanks so much for another reminder that we can do things differently!
      Have a good day!

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