Connecting the Dots: Imagination

February 26, 2012

 

Erin Outcalt

By ERIN OUTCALT

mcp blogger

 

As I was walking this evening I began to think about what kind of world we live in and how vastly it has changed in just my 37 years on this earth. When I was a little girl I had many ideas in my mind about what the future held. Many of those wild thoughts have never come to pass such as the creation of the flying automobile. However, there are a lot of things I would have never imagined were possible back in those days that now play an integral part of our everyday lives.

 

The two largest unimaginable creations in my mind are the Internet and the cell phone. My children don’t remember a world without these inventions but I remember a time not so long ago when I used a typewriter versus a computer to draft documents! This led me to wonder what amazing creations are held in our future that we can’t even dream of at this point in time? And will it be a good thing for mankind?

 

I’m old school I think; well at least old school in the sense that I prefer how times were when I was a kid. I did watch some TV and did play some video games but not much in comparison to current times. I used my imagination more than anything. My imagination took me to places that no television show could compare to and best of all it was my very own creation! I pretended to be Oscar the Grouch in a new trash can my grandparents had bought but was heartbroken when I could no longer play in it because of all things it needed to be used for trash. Geesh!

 

I pretended to be a witch stirring her concoction of frog eyeballs in the back yard and later in the day was the mean old lady down the street who would run after the neighborhood kids with a stick to scare them away from her yard. I must have been a unique little girl because a lot of my daydreaming and play did not surround playing with dolls or pretending to be a princess. I did those things but I had lots of other crazy fantasies that I cooked up – I mean have you heard of many kids playing in a trash can?

 

My children take after me in that sense – they have great imaginations. I think partly because their television time is limited and we don’t have much in the way of video games at our house. We try to make time for reading most nights because I value reading as highly important to the growth and development of their imagination and creativity.

 

I worry about children who have unlimited tv and video game access because I believe they are missing out on some of the most magical things that our minds are capable of, creating and imagining.

 

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with TV or video games in moderation. But I think when children soak up most of what they hear and see from television instead of experiencing life for themselves that they are limiting the potential they have in building a life beyond their wildest dreams. For that matter the same holds true for all of us big kids.

 

Many amazing inventions and ideas came from creative thinkers who dared to dream and explore the furthest reaches of their imagination.

 

I think that I still have a great imagination even now that I’m a more “mature” child. I no longer play in trash cans but I do enjoy the thrill of a new creative endeavor. I try to look at ordinary things to find extraordinary things. There are so many wonderful places my imagination can take me and so many opportunities it presents to me to make the world around me a better place. Anything I think up in my own head is always better than what’s on TV.

 

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