It’s been said that I spend a lot of time in my imagination. In school, daydreaming was something I was constantly getting in trouble for.
Instead of being in class, listening to my fat, balding teacher drone on about the importance of multiplication, I was off in a magical land flying on the back of dragons.
SLAP on the desk! “Pay attention Mr. Perez!”
I guess the value of imagination can easily get overlooked in an environment that doesn’t foster creative thought. School is all about following directions, listening to the “Boss”, and being evaluated for your performance. No wonder “A” students usually end up working for C and D students. Imagination is innovation, so if it is not encouraged, we lose innovation.
A lot of my art focuses on the power of imagination. The innovators, those great thinkers and adventurers that put this country on the forefront of discovery. The dreamers that believed in the impossible. The diverse culture that came to american soil because this is the land of opportunity.
The United States is great because of our innovators, our creators, our dreamers… it’s people out there like you, that dream of a better tomorrow for themselves and their children.
There is a reason why artists are the first to be suppressed when a dictatorship takes over… because creative, abstract thinking, is nearly impossible to control or dominate.
Unfortunately our educational system as it stands hasn’t improved much since the industrial age. It does not cultivate creative thinking, it doesn’t allow for divergent problem solving… or being a dreamer.
Essentially school teaches you how to be a good employee.
Memorize some stuff, do some stuff, get evaluated, fail and get punished, pass and get praised. Do something great and get a gold star you can stick on the fridge. Do something bad, get suspended or expelled, RARARA! school spirit…. Rinse, repeat.
Then you go to work, memorize and do stuff, get evaluations, fail and get punished, pass and get praised. Do something great and get a paper certificate you can frame. Do something bad and get suspended or fired. RARARA! company spirit. Rinse, repeat.
Don’t get me wrong. I value education and I know there are a lot of very passionate teachers out there that foster creative thinking… I’ve had a few.
But, I believe that it is our ability to imagine that gives us power. Knowledge is only facts that change as new discoveries are made. Imagination is what fuels those discoveries.
We spend most of our days in our imagination anyhow… Imagined worse case scenarios, replaying or imagining arguments, negative self image, and so much more.
Imagine if you will, what it would be like if we were taught to harness our imagination. How different the world would be if we had learned how to focus on positive outcomes and innovation, instead of following directions. What would it be like if we learned to see the world through eyes of possibility and wonder?
Maybe some day… For now, let’s teach ourselves.