“The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.”
So wrote the French philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau, born in the 18th century.
My conception of it is that it’s the wheels on the engine of progress. All our modern technology comes from someone’s imagination. It is what drives us to strive for newer and better things.
Imagination may be good or bad. It could lead to wrong conclusions, if we get carried away with it.
Solitude is a fertile soil to let one’s imagination take root and great thoughts, (as well as incorrect ones), to grow.
A TV commercial years ago portrayed a mother oversleeping and imagining her children going off to school without breakfast in a blizzard. Didn’t happen.
Some people put their imagination to work and invent or explore in their quest for a better life.
Imagination was at play when Columbus imagined the earth was round, instead of flat, urging him to find a new route to India.
Perhaps the Wright brothers imagined what it would be like to soar above the earth and that compelled them to find out with their flying machine.
Imagination also can cause us to picture all sorts of calamities, making us needlessly worry.
I recall an old anecdote about someone with an overactive imagination when he had a flat tire on a lonely country road.
Seeing lights in a farmhouse, he walked back toward it, framing his request in his mind, to borrow a jack. He imagined the reception he would receive knocking on their door late at night. He became more enraged as he walked, imagining the occupant saying he had no jack, or turning off lights when he knocked, pretending no one was home.
By the time he stood before the farmer, he was so angry, he shouted, “You can just keep your darn jack,” and stomped away without making a request.
When I am undergoing an unpleasant experience, I imagine myself in a happy place – from my past or an upcoming event that will give me pleasure, such as spending time with my son and daughter.
Try it. It helps.
Have you ever imagined what people think about you?
You shouldn’t – because they seldom do!