Do you know that a genius – a certified, world changing, immensely intelligent genius – once made this comment about imagination? He said, “Imagination is silly. Once you grow up, you no longer require it. Promptly, throw it in the bin after age eleven.” Then he snapped his britches, tapped a hard boiled egg until it opened (breakfast for geniuses, some think. Often accompanied by the beloved and most popular prune juice), picked up a briefcase and strode away from the breakfast table and indeed our blog post.How disappointing.
For those of you who dream, who day dream, who get lost in your thoughts, books, ideas and the clouds above, how disillusioning! Terribly inconvenient, not to mention disheartening.
And then perhaps there’s those of you who agree with this nameless but – for the purposes of this blog so far, seemingly legitimate – genius, that yes: imagination is quite useless after all and certainly of no importance!
After all, what use is imagination when a journalist reports on a crime scene? In fact that can often create more trouble than it’s worth … And imagination certainly, surely!, wouldn’t be necessary for a carpenter building a house or a cleaner bleaching a toilet white or a doctor examining patient moles, professional eye scanning for anything suspicious?
Surely imagination is something only useful for artists, writers, people who work for Pixar and make costumes for musicals? For those lucky people who make video games and then even those luckier people who play them; creating and personalising whole new (virtual) worlds?
But here’s the part where I tell you I lied. That I misquoted. That I threw you off centre for a reason…
I wanted you to think about imagination and our preconceptions of the validity of it before I sprung this quote on you. The real quote.
No, it’s not the Scrooge version, hard boiled egg and prune juice one. Rather, it’s much kinder than that, more generous and intriguing.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge,” Albert Einstein once said.
This blog post has no real narrative, no plot thickener. I’m not trying to be tricky and I’m not about to go off on a tangent like I usually do. I just wanted to highlight this famous quote by Einstein.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Really? That’s not what I was told. That’s not how I feel. Probably, that’s the opposite of how I feel at times.
But whoever you are, you there – you there EVERYONE and ANYONE! – your imagination is a source of wonder and new things and inventions and new ideas: it’s this terribly wonderful intelligence which triggers ideas and makes life interesting but ultimately makes life better.
Lord of the Rings. Sky scrapers. Beautiful dishes. Mocha coffee. Mansions. Your favourite Beatles sing. The Taj Mahal. That beautiful flower garden you might have loved when you were a child. The way your boyfriend chooses flowers for you. The way your girlfriend arranges dinner. The way you wear your hat. The way some talented person makes a hat. Marvel comics. Even some “current affairs” shows!
All these things are driven by imagination and – when you think about – doesn’t imagination make the world better in more ways than we could imagine? (Pardon the pun.)