This I Believe

leland - clarksville, Indiana
Entered on July 11, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in imagination. I realized my entire life has been an attempt to manifest my imagination. I believe that imagination unlike faith or religion can be and is apart of all human beings. We all take refuge, find excitement or gain inspiration through our imagination. It is a constant from development of childhood to the end of life. Imagination is our relief from the mundane, our explanation of the unknown, and our hope for the future. Imagination is the mother of invention.

Imaginary friends offered us the indulgence of our own company, a companion within our hearts and minds that travel with us to the farthest regions. We utilized their qualities of courage or strength to enhance our environments.

My appreciation of imagination, like most, began as a child. My imagination rescued me from lack of attention. I remember pretending to be a wizard mixing potions in me parents’ bathroom and making a cape out of a simple bed sheet. I would go outside and play in the bushes wildly waving crooked sticks and chanting as if they were magic wands.

Somehow along the way I internalized this awesome power of imagination throughout my years. Take for example high school which can be an absolute torment for most. I was incredibly overweight and admittedly self-conscious but by imagination I didn’t see what was in the mirror but instead projected a persona or attitude that led me to become a fantastic leader, friend and student. I truly perceived myself through my imagination of how people saw and reacted to me.

No matter where you are in life we all have dreams. Dreams are the nightly expression of our imagination, the unlocking of our own limitless abilities. I love dreams I imagine myself flying atop great winged dragons or riding a roller coaster at lighting speeds. But as with all things there exist duality and as we have dreams we too have nightmares. We transition from “I can imagine” to “imagine what if,” or could you imagine.” I could imagine an endangered earth overheated, desolate and devoid of the purest beauties that existed in times past but I could also imagine a cure. I have held on to my imagination, I became a modern day wizard. I study a form of alchemy, I became an inorganic chemist.

I continue to imagine about whom I will become or where I will be. I recently re-internalized my imagination. I imagined that if I ate healthy and exercised I would eventually look like Taye Diggs. Even though I have lost over a hundred pounds since high school I have yet to be mistaken by anyone famous other than Randy Jackson from American Idol.

Just like some fabled tree of eternal currency imagination is an industry. We buy and sell imagination everyday as books, movies, magazines and video games for a better life. To paraphrase John Lennon, if we can “imagine all the people living for today.” Maybe we will have a better tomorrow.