Hey, What If….?

Sarah - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on December 9, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: creativity
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Albert Einstein once said that imagination is more important than knowledge. I have to agree. In fact, I believe it is next to impossible to be knowledgeable without creativity. Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist. He is best known for his theory of relativity and he received the 1921 Nobel Prize Award in Physics. He owes his intellect to his imagination, not to his knowledge, and in fact Albert Einstein was said to have not been an incredibly brilliant student. His message of imagination is not condescending intelligence, but is saying that our minds are as infinite as the universe, if we can imagine it.

Imagination is the ability of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually there. Psychologically, imagination is the recurring of images, related to other images outside our present senses. Everyone has an imagination. And everyone can remember when he or she was little, playing little imagination games. I personally remember playing princesses, and when I went swimming, always pretending to be a mermaid. I would get so into detail, I would never actually get to play the game, if there even was a game.

Knowledge is defined as facts, information and skills acquired by a person through experience or education. Everyday we are bombarded with knowledge: in school, by our parents, and even by signs on the side of the road. But how are we to relate this knowledge, pre-experience, without imagination?

Imagination enables us to create scenarios in our head and come up with the best solution. Imagination helps us everywhere from solving math solutions to visualizing stories in a book. Imagination was key to my games as a kid, and to Einstein’s theories on physics. After all, how was he supposed to come up with his theory on black holes, when there would never have been a way for him to get close enough to one without getting sucked into another dimension?

We have a lot to thank imagination for. I-pods, cell phones, cars, radios… someone somewhere had to look at something and think, “Hey, what if…” Our personal imaginations vary from our personal interests. Musicians create music, Artists create art, and physicists create theorems for us to study in school. My mom always told me my imagination was a good thing, and that I could be anything I wanted. I would imagine myself being all sorts of things, from a ballerina to a doctor. In fact, I still do that in hopes of finding something that fits. Imagination creates dreams, and without dreams, how would we ever follow our life’s bliss, to achieve enlightenment, or walk the path of our lives, unconsciously written out for ourselves by our minds, and to essentially be one with the Universe? We definitely have a lot to thank our imaginations for.

I believe in my imagination. To me, imagination is the ability to step outside yourself and see things in a different light. I believe in my imagination because of where it takes me, from being a mermaid when I was five, to finally being done with school. Einstein believed in his imagination and after all, who are we to question an expert on his imagination?