This post is reprinted here with permission from the author. More from Esha Chhabra, a journalist who focuses on innovation, social enterprise and tech-driven initiatives for development and social impact. She writes for the NY Times India Ink blog, Good Magazine, Inc Magazine, and other platforms.
Awesome article! thx! It helped me with my academic piece of writing.
thank you all for the kind words, really appreciate it.
let our imaginations be reawakened!
Thank you. Diane DiPrima wrote a poem called "Rant". In it she repeats, over and over, "The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All other wars are subsumed in it." Imagination is our ability to empathize, to relate, to imagine our selves in someone else's shoes. It is essential for compassion. And it is under attack. Thank you for celebrating it. May we all do the same!
What a wonderful article. I read this in a room where my Disney stuffed animal, "Figment" rests on a shelf behind me and an empty coffee mug with little cermic feet sits by my side. You helped reinforce that it is absolutely ok for me -for everybody- to embrace both that adult side just as much as that fun, imaginative side. It doesn't have to be separate at all. Thanks for such a refreshing read.
Off I go to get out my box of Crayola crayons, paper, pens, and my imagination! Oh, thanks for the reminder that we're not too old to dream and imagine.
One of the saddest experiences I have had was presenting a holiday music program to a group of children at a disadvantaged local school. My whole program was based on .. dreams and imagination. Should be easy with a group of kids I thought. Wrong. The simple question, "Do you have a dream of something you would like to do?" met with blank stares. "Do you imagine what it might be like to fly?" Nothing. These kids had no idea. It seemed they had no dreams. That one hour program was the hardest I've ever got through. A whole classroom of children with no dreams! Kids who didn't even know how to imagine.
I was so depressed by this experience, that I went home and immediately began to write a song for the next school I would visit. It developed into a children's song which I taught to a group of children in a YWCA in-school mentoring program that I was involved with. We recorded it at a local high school, it was played on our community radio station and it featured as the backing for a promotional video which the mentoring program still uses. It was called "When I Dream (I can do anything)."
The words I used to introduce the kids to the idea of dreaming and imagination were these.
"Nothing has ever been created, no masterpiece painted, no song given voice, no discovery unveiled, without someone, somewhere, who had a dream."
Walt Disney taught me an elephant can fly, and a little wooden puppet can wish upon a star and become a human boy. Some time along the way, most of that good stuff was lost by the wayside. I want it back !