Imagination - Use It or Lose It
A friend of mine used to be a real estate agent. She tells me that she remembers showing
houses to certain individuals who found it very difficult to use their imagination. These individuals might walk into a house that she was showing and look at the color on the wall of the very first room that they entered, the hallway or perhaps the dining room, and say no that's the wrong color. It needs to be a different color. And then they would turn and walk out of the house without ever seeing the rest of the house. This happened often enough that she began to say well can't you see it in such and such a color? And they would say no it's just not the right color. They just had difficulty using their imagination.
I can remember growing up as a kid and having great battles using only a tree limb, a branch
as my sword. But it was a beautiful sword made of the strongest steel and it never broke. There were all kinds of opportunities to use our imaginations to enhance what we had on hand. I can't tell you how many cardboard boxes became race cars or spaceships or other advanced means of transportation. There were so many one on one hockey games played in the back yard before a crowed arena of over ten thousand fans. Of course, there was a roar from the crowd with each goal scored against an invisible goalie.
It seems to me that imagination is a skill. It needs to be developed and like most skills if it's not used we can quickly forget how to use it.
So, how much opportunity do we have these days to exercise our imaginations? Most of us are consumers of information through the various technologies that we immerse ourselves in. It may be the television, the radio in the car, the computer either at home or at work, and a whole host of other devices that are abundantly available.
Do the video games that today’s kids play allow them to use their imaginations? Do we use our imaginations when we go to the movies and become so immersed in the darkly lit theater and allow ourselves to believe that the story on the screen is real?
So, the real difference between reading a book and watching a movie is that when we read a book our imagination is actively at work. Our imagination is taking the words on the page and creating a vibrant, living scene. In the movie all we need to do is watch the screen. So, I guess you will agree with me that reading a book is a great way to use your imagination.
Do you actually think about exercising your imagination at all? Another great way to use your
imagination is to create something. Doesn't matter what it is. It could simply be doodling on a piece of paper. It could be putting notes together in your head or with an instrument to create a song. It could be taking a recipe and going wild with it, putting your flair into it. Or it could be writing a book, creating a sculpture, painting a picture, or remembering some pleasant anecdote from your past.
So, here's a suggestion. Take some time and exercise your imagination. There's plenty of ways to do it and the more you do it the easier it will become. I think you will be rewarded with a robust imagination and that will certainly keep things interesting. Give it a try! Who knows what you are capable of imagining?