Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Imagination is the ability to challenge the world of “what is” by relentlessly asking “why not?”
I was splitting wood for our furnace several years ago. A neighborhood child joined me and began asking questions with every swing of my splitting maul. “Could you hear that if nobody was here to listen?” “Why can’t you burn the wood without splitting it?” The one that struck home was “Why didn’t you start at that log?” as I finished the job. To a child, starting at the end made a lot of sense. He saw my work as having been completed with the splitting of that particular log – and had I started there the job would have been finished almost before it began.
A person can show great proficiency without ever exhibiting imagination. Conversely, an individual will never demonstrate imagination by simply accomplishing the work assigned without asking “why not…?” Accepting a standard response to a “why” question often satisfies those willing to do nothing more than the minimum. An understanding of what must be done as well as a verbalization of what might yet be accomplished is demonstrated when one researches enough – or is interested enough – to ask “why not?”
Given the choice between a “doer” and a “dreamer,” I would prefer to live within my imagination than within my reality. A realist accepts only what can be defined and demonstrated – content to accomplish the dreams and desires of others. I would prefer to live amongst those who imagine what has not yet been proven – has not yet been established – for they will accept nothing less than the great things they are destined to accomplish in this world.