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Imagination: The Way to Success

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"Just imagine. Just imagine. Just imagine all the things that we could be. Imagine all the places we could go and see. Imagination is fun for you and me" (Barney's Imagination). Almost every child that grew up in the 90s has seen Barney's movie, Imagination Island. In the movie, Barney and his friends go to Imagination Island and while there, they make use of their imaginations to make the toys in Professor Tinkerputt's house come to life. Like in the movie, children are encouraged to use their imaginations. At a young age, the imagination is seen as a sign of intelligence in children. The more that the child can picture and imagine, the more the parents want to teach their children. Adults and parents want young children to have fun and use their brains creatively, but as children grow older the story changes. As children get into their teenage years using the imagination is something that is laughed at. If a person still plays with dolls or play "kiddy" games as an adolescent, then the chances are that they will be made fun of and bullied. Although it is reasonable to say it is inappropriate for young adults to play with children's toys, the young person is purely exercising their imagination and creativity. As people grow older, they grow out of things they once liked to do; one of those being the ability to imagine and use their creativity. Television shows and video games cause teenagers and adults, and even children, to stop being creative. Society wants people to stop using their ability to create a better world and newer inventions; it's as if being creative and using one's imagination is something unthinkable.

In the article, Imagination: The Essential Element in Creativity and Arts Education, the author says, "The imagination is a necessary cognitive tool for survival, as well as a source of great wisdom and pleasure, and is part of all of us at birth" (Van de Windt). People are born with the power to create for a reason. Imagination is not something that should be looked down upon. People were born with the ability to creatively think and design so that the world would thrive. In order for the people of the world to advance through the ages, the imagination had to be used in some way. Without creative thinking, the world would still be how it was with the Neanderthals. The greatest inventions of the world were created through use of the imagination; it wasn't just the knowledge people possessed that permitted these to be made. The imagination pairs with one's knowledge to give people a great source of wisdom. The wisest people know, because of their imaginations, what the most important things are in life. It allows for one with wisdom to understand things in the world that are beyond a "normal" person's capacity. Along with being a survival tool and source of wisdom, the imagination allows people to find happiness in life. This aspect of the imagination makes everyone equal because anybody can discover joy by imagining a perfect world.

In a seventh grade class, there was a student that found herself to be at a higher level of understanding than her peers. Unlike the other students, this particular student continued to exercise her imagination, which allowed her to comprehend anything she was taught. Later in life she continued using her imagination in everything she did and by doing so, she was able to find a job that offered her an exceptionally great life. She stayed in touch with her friends from grade school and realized that the way they thought was very different from how she did. Her friends did not choose to exercise as they grew older and so they started to think more and more rationally as years passed. If this student did not choose to utilize her imagination she would have turned out just like her other peers. The imagination is a powerhouse for success, but society has continuously pushed it aside because everybody's minds are so concentrated on reality. Although many believe the focus needs to be on reality and rational thinking, the imagination and creativity are necessary aspects of life that need more emphasis.

The imagination is a source of great power. It plays an especially important role in the way people think. Many inquiries though, question whether or not the imagination is good for thinking.

Many people believe that using the imagination and being creative leads to unrealistic thinking. It is frowned upon by most of society and even discouraged as people get older. Like in the book 1984 by George Orwell, society wants to keep people in control. Society is not as demanding as the book, where all the people have to follow the same routine each day, but they want people that will work and do as they are told. They don't want people that will outsmart the leader. Many argue that thinking outside of the box is a taboo. The imagination goes too far and takes people to areas that are beyond ordinary. To many, an overactive imagination and too much creativity make people set goals that are too high for them to reach. People have recalled many times that they set out for goals that were just too unrealistic, like becoming a star or something as small as getting accepted into one's dream college. Many students have been let down by their imaginations because they thought that they were a shoo-in to be accepted to a school. The imagination lets thinking get out of hand too many times, especially with young people. Therefore, the imagination and creative thinking have no place in the thinking process because it only creates thoughts in peoples' heads that will only let them down and cause issues in life.

These people that have no faith in the imagination are sadly mistaken though. The imagination and creativity aid one's ability to think. Imagination and creativity are part of the thinking process. Imagination does not make people unrealistic thinkers. Paul Harris, a development psychologist and professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education who studies imagination says "[it] is absolutely vital for contemplating reality, not just those things we take to be mere fantasy" (qtd. in Wang). Without these two elements, there would be no point in thinking because there would be no new ideas. Imagination and creativity are needed to allow better ideas to arise. Instead of everyone thinking the same way and coming up with the same ideas, imagination and creativity allow for a society filled with a variety of thinkers. In order for a person to fully understand reality, they must be able to look at things from different perspectives. Creativity and imagination allow people to do that. Without an ability to look at things from another angle, society would be chaotic. Nobody would understand each other or see where the other persons' viewpoint. The imagination makes people stronger



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