Category Archives: Imagination

When in Doubt, Make a Fool of Yourself By Joyce Elferdink

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“When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.”
– Cynthia Heimel, writer and columnist

I have struggled in all my careers to follow others’ rules. To envision ways of doing things or solving problems that deviate from the norm is risky, but for some of us it must be tried. For example, during the time I was an economic director in Indiana, one of my board members had ideas for improving the local K-12 school system. His suggestions were a direct response to the issues of the time. Surveying parents and community leaders assured him of the feasibility of implementing these changes. But another board member answered to the school’s superintendent. As with so many in positions of power in our larger institutions, the superintendent would not consider ideas he had not initiated, ideas that could have transformed that school system from mediocre to extraordinary. But the changes did not come with a money-back guarantee and the superintendent preferred the ways he knew and believed he could control.

I supported the board member who wanted a better learning environment for the students. That “leap” across the thin line between creativity and idiocy, between supporting inventive methods instead of the broken status quo, cost me my job. Did I make a fool of myself? There are those who would say yes, but others believe with me that complacency in the midst of turmoil is the true foolishness.

Our world is desperate for visionaries who will show us how to bridge the chasms between people and between our dreams and experiences. Are you willing to make a fool of yourself by stepping into the unfamiliar and enduring–though opposed–or will you be lost in the crowds who dismiss or oppose everything they can’t rationally prove?

Rationalists, wearing square hats,
Think, in square rooms,
Looking at the floor,
Looking at the ceiling,
They confine themselves
To right-angled triangles.
If they tried rhomboids,
Cones, waving lines, ellipses—
As, for example, the ellipse of the half moon—
Rationalists would wear sombreros.

Stevens, Wallace. “Six Significant Landscapes.” (1969, p. 183)

 

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Joyce Elferdink has finally come close to achieving her goal implanted long ago after reading Gift from the Sea: to live a balanced life, where each day includes time for self, for relationships, for nature, and for meaningful, creative work. She has never forgotten what Ann Morrow Lindbergh wrote about individuals “often trying, like me, to evolve another rhythm with more creative pauses in it, more adjustment to their individual needs, and new and more alive relationships to themselves as well as others.”

Imagination is a wonderful Thing!

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Have you ever thought where we would be if we didn’t have an imagination?

We’d be lost and hungry, for a start.

Let me explain.

Imagination is the ability to form new images and sensations in the mind that are not perceived through senses such as sight, hearing, or other senses. It is a mental process, which is not visible to others. Imagination makes use of relevant knowledge and previous learning to solve problems

This is why I say that without an imagination we would all be lost and hungry. Without an imagination, nobody would be able to translate an abstract concept like a road map into the reality of the roads. The same applies to recipes. Imagination is what enables a person to turn a bunch of words into a wonderful dish.

In the business world, trainers emphasize ‘thinking outside the box’ and ‘lateral thinking’ in problem solving. What do they mean by that? Simply put, they might as well have told their trainees to ‘use your imagination.’

In today’s world, we want to be visually entertained. We watch movies, TV series, we play computer games etc. These are the products of somebody else’s imagination. Our own mind’s eye becomes lazy to the point of not being able to ‘see’ without ‘seeing’. We forget how to think in the abstract. We rely on imagination borrowed from somebody else.

Everybody doesn’t have to be a visual artist or an author, but our imagination is what separates us from the animal kingdom. No invention would have been possible with the imagination of the inventor. Every painting and sculpture started with an idea in the imagination of the artist. Bridges, highrise buildings, airplanes, trains and spaceships, the common light bulb, the telephone, television sets, you name it, they all started as an idea formed in somebody’s head by his/her imagination.

If the imagination becomes the privilege of the few the human race will be left so much poorer. Each person should strive to develop all the faculties available to him or her. Imagination incorporates learning, previous experiences and personality to come up with solutions in a new and original forms. With a blunted imagination, this process becomes limited to the point of being useless.

One way to develop one’s inner eye is by reading. By reading a book as opposed to watching a movie based on that book, one creates mental images for oneself from the abstract words the author used to tell the story. One enters the world the author created by visualizing it. But when we watch what another person have created, our own imagination shrivels with disuse.

Read a book!

 

http://www.maggietideswell.blogspot.com/

Maggie Tideswell is the author of passionate paranormal romance novels. She lived in Johannesburg, South Africa with her husband Gareth and their three cats.  She has two books published, Dark Moon (2011) and Moragh, Holly’s Ghost (2013) and has just launched her new five book series Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons. Book 1, The Run-Away Couple, is available on Amazon. Book 2, He’s Married will be released next month.