This I Believe

Riley - Winona, Minnesota
Entered on January 24, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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When we were young our imaginations ran wild. We could play the best game of cowboys and Indians at recess for only fifteen minutes and get entirely lost in it. All we needed were images of old Western movies in our minds and were off. No props were needed and no one worried about being historically accurate because the story being told was written by the players. It didn’t even matter if half way through the game the cowboys were driving mustangs instead of riding them and the Indians discovered they could fly. Creativity was the name of the game, but we just thought that’s what you called fun.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the road of life, we forgot about those fifteen-minute games of cowboys and Indians. Instead our culture tells us to wake up and be realistic. Cowboys don’t drive cars and Indians can’t fly. As a matter of fact, there is no point in even playing those games for fifteen minutes. No one wins and you don’t learn anything. In that case, why watch movies? Or read books? Or listen to music? Or make your own music? Why write poetry or paint a picture?

We need imagination and creativity to thrive. The world would have no beauty or splendor and no shocking or no bizarre scenes without it. The human race would be dull. I pity the people who have lost their knack for playing cowboys and Indians. They criticize films for being impractical. It’s a movie, entertainment to enjoy without question! They look at a box and see cardboard to be thrown away. That could be the greatest clubhouse ever built! Furthermore, I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that some people can’t enjoy a fantasy novel. To be lost in a world far different from our own is a wonderful feeling.

Our brains were designed to think in marvelous ways, to conjure pictures of things never before seen. Some people are lucky enough to make their imaginations reality. They stick it to the man and say, “I told you I could do it.” Walt Disney made a cartoon an icon. J.R.R. Tolkien constructed an entire world in books. Gustave Eiffel designed the Eiffel tower which over 5.5 million visitors admire every year.

We can’t let the man take away our mind’s eye. It is essential to being a well-rounded individual. No one wants to be a dull soul. Have an open mind and live a beautiful life. Sometimes we have to stop questioning the absurd. Would you ever ask a child why they drew a purple and turquoise house and expect a reasonable answer? It doesn’t matter why they did it; they just thought it looked neat. Our culture needs to lighten up every now and then and take a hint from its younger self. Play a fifteen-minute game of cowboys and Indians, it might be fun.