The loveliest thing about children is that they haven’t yet been programmed to keep their imaginations in check. When her Snow White barbie doll died from drowning in a slime pit, my three-year old daughter conducted a burial with a prayer that included a list of species I’ve never even heard of. It was the best, most inappropriate funeral I’ve ever been to:
It’s quite useful to knock imagination out of children though. It’s easier to educate when education consists of the acquisition of knowledge and not the creative and progressive application of it. It’s also much easier to manage a workforce when it involves giving them a job to do and then some cash when it’s done. Mega empires have been built using people with no imagination.
But empires have never been built by people with no imagination. Everything you see around you, every human-made innovation or clever contraption once existed only as a vague notion. Imagination is the force of creation. And you simply can’t access imagination if you’re living in a pit of dogma, limitation, routine and drudgery. That’s not how children live.
I was one of the lucky ones – my mother’s response to difficult questions was never “because I say so” but “why don’t you use your imagination and figure it out?”
E.A.A Wilson is an author, minister of metaphysics, mom and reluctant bureaucrat. Her comic fantasy novel “Ascension Denied” is set in purgatory but is nonetheless available to the living, now, online, at all major retailers. Stay in touch through: