Today, the world’s resources are often a hot news topic, but the discussion usually revolves around coal, nuclear, oil, solar, wind and recyclables. We are always in search of a new renewable resource that will move the world forward. However, oftentimes, I think we overlook the importance of the one free renewable resource that spans the globe, is available 24/7, and has fueled the discoveries and innovations that have lifted the human existence to a higher plane. I believe the imagination is the world’s most important renewable resource.
Do you know what Plato, Columbus, Einstein, Disney, and the Wright brothers have in common despite coming from different backgrounds, places, and generations? They are all masters of the imagination.
Throughout history, each of them switched on the light in the attic of their mind and found the courage to follow a dream despite adverse conditions. Most of their ideas were initially considered to be crazy, but they would become respected and celebrated. Light bulbs, cars, movies, cartoons, music, computers, airplanes, medicine, theories, stories – you name it – the things that make our lives easier, more enjoyable and even longer were birthed in someone’s brilliant imagination.
Unfortunately, in my lifetime, during times of increased population and increasingly limited resources, costs have forced the downsizing or elimination arts, athletic, and space programs, the very environments that foster the imagination. In the end, I think all of society might pay a higher price than the cost of the original programs.
I think the imagination is like an invisible muscle. We are all born with one, but it experiences atrophy if it is not challenged to grow through music, art, reading, science, and creative thinking. The Ancient Greeks understood this and their philosophies still influence the modern world. In my own life, I truly believe simple practices like looking for cloud formations that resemble an animal or object and exposing myself to the arts taught me how to engage my imagination at an early age and gave me the wherewithal to write a novel later in life.
Trends change, but as the age of technology ramps up the pace of change, one thing remains the same. History has taught us that solutions to humanity’s hard questions will be inspired, discovered, and invented by the societies that believe in the power of the imagination and burn bright with the freedom to think, invent, imagine, and reimagine. Quality of life has and always will depend on the world’s most renewable resource.
How high can we soar? Just imagine.
Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.
You may say I’m a dreamer
But, I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one