Imagination–it’s usually something people get rid of at a certain age, mostly because there’s a point at which people are expected to become practical. Our society expects us to be responsible and deal with the situations at hand instead of spending time lost in daydreams. Then why do we encourage people to use it so much at the peak of mental development during childhood? Is it just to keep kids busy? The other day while camping, my friend and her son were setting up their tent. They had brought a mattress the same size as the tent, and once it was blown up, they couldn’t get it to fit in the door! As the adults were on the verge of throwing their hands up in the air, the boy simply and quietly suggested they put the mattress underneath the tent. And it worked like a charm. Children have the ability to think outside the box because they haven’t yet required themselves to “grow up” and think the way everyone else does. If we are so concerned with problems at hand, wouldn’t the best solution be to make our minds creative enough to think of solutions? I think we’re starting to wake up to the possibilities of using our imaginations, judging by the excitement and investment involved in developing virtual reality. Perhaps the missing link is making these inventive thoughts cooperate with our practical world.
In this painting, a young boy swims through a school of goldfish of his dreams. The pool is just a setting for whatever he can think up. He’ll spend endless hours of his childhood lost in play, preparing himself to take on the responsibilities of an adult. Hopefully he’ll keep hold of his whimsical ways of thinking and make himself a better father, a better worker, and more able to contribute to the innovation of his society.