The Development of Imagination

Helen - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on March 3, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I was the quiet kid in elementary school. That was because not many kids wanted to exert the energy making friends with me, but I was relatively fine with it. Now, I’m not making myself out as an outcast, as I had a few friends with invitations to sleepovers or birthday parties. But frankly, I didn’t fit in with anyone particularly well. Gradually, I began reading more and more. I can remember reading picture books at a young age, particularly a story about a goat who wouldn’t eat normal goat food, only normal human food, thus putting his parents in a predicament. As I grew up, I moved to books without pictures, chapter books, delving deeper into worlds where magic was real or places of another time. This allowed a constant companion for me, I could just pull out a book anytime and start reading. But, my books removed me even farther from my classmates. Reading was not considered cool.

All in all, I was a lonely kid. However, my peers changed when I was accepted into a gifted program at the end of 4th grade. The kids there accepted almost any type of person, I fit in well. My social development continued through middle school and ending up in high school, where I’m pretty happy. On the other hand, I have started reading less and less. It wasn’t because I increasingly dislike reading, rather, I added on new extracurricular activities, scheduling my time into dollops now. I still try to read as much as I can, pilfering from my brother’s stack of library books. I still am most likely to read when left with no homework or practice to do. Also, in high school, there are books assigned for English. These are considered great literature, but I read them before the required dates, in order to enjoy them with my own perspective.

Reading by myself, I believe, gives me the greatest aspect of literature. Imagination. Personally, books helped me through life and have shaped part of me. But, I believe the most important aspect of reading is that it fosters the imagination. I believe imagination can make or break the start of anything great. With imagination, someone could invent a revolutionizing machine, try to discover previously unheard-of places, or create a timeless, priceless piece of art. Reading fertilizes imagination because it opens up new possibilities, where I can take someone else’s idea and apply it to my life, or my world. I can see different people’s perspectives, which would make me consider things yet unthought of. Yes, I am taking bits of other’s ideas and molding them into my own, essentially copying, but maybe my own philosophies will yield something new. I believe reading lets the imagination grow and breathe. I believe that the imagination is the most important aspect of intelligence and understanding the world.