A note to my fellow advocates of imagination: The good news is that some of the sectors we are reaching out to—business, government; the shakers and makers, you might say—have come to full alert and perceive imagination as a primary asset of leadership. They actively seek those who are capable of bringing imagination, creativity, and innovative viewpoints to the table.
Unfortunately, in the minds of many, we’re promoting something that they still view as nebulous, indefinable, even mystical. Among the naysayers, sadly, are numerous institutions of education, a field that is perhaps closest to our hearts.
The man in the street cannot be blamed. We’re in the midst of the severest international financial crisis in decades, a period when people just want to get back on their feet before they even begin to think about abstractions, such as the arts or the imagination—which they do not think of as the tool that might help them improve their affairs. It simply isn’t a part of our cultural traditions. The catchphrase has always been “hard work,” not “imagination,” and, ironically, no one has taught us just how much one depends on the other.
So we’ve got our work cut out for us if we want to convince our communities that the imagination is important and must be cultivated. “But how,” you ask, “do I begin?” (more…)