It’s midnight; do you know where your imagination is?
I am nearly sixty-four years old. That means that I get a senior discount in a whole bunch of places and I get the buy one get one free at the casino buffet on Mondays. It also means that I can remember a childhood where imagination was what you needed to have to have fun. What has happened to that wonderful concept? Where did it go?
I remember sitting in my bedroom reading a book. Who does that today? There are still a few, I suppose, but I am sure that it is a very few. After all, reading takes imagination. You see the story in your head. There are no actors, no special effects, only you, the words in the book and your imagination, a daunting task for some of the youth of today not to mention a whole bunch of adults.
Yes, I remember sitting there with a reading lamp being the only light turned on in my bedroom. Can you even buy a reading lamp anymore? Would they know what you were asking for if you did go to buy one?
Well, anyway, I was reading the book “When Worlds Collide”. Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer wrote it in 1933. It was a great science fiction story about the world coming to an end. You can probably still find it in the library. Check it out. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_Worlds_Collide)
My imagination was in overdrive on that one. I recall quite vividly thinking that getting my homework done didn’t matter much because the world was about to come an end. Then I remembered that it was just a story. I was torn between the joy of realizing that the world wasn’t about to end and the sad realization that I had to finish my homework. I hated homework.
Imagination was in the drivers seat for just about everyone back then. Today there is a distinct lack of imagination required for most of us. I’m beginning to think that the advent of the color TV might have been the start of the decline. It went down hill from the point where you could tell the color of Hoss Cartwright’s vest. It was brown by the way. If you already knew the color of his vest or who he was for that matter, you are as old as I am, or you have Netflix.
Back then, the love scenes were a fade out and you imagined what happened next. Not now, no imagination is required. I’m sorry, but I don’t think that was an improvement. It has also made it impossible for some of us to watch most PG-13 movies with our teenage grandchildren. If you know the guys or gals that came up with what a thirteen year old is supposed to watch send me his or her address. I want to give him or her or both for that matter a piece of my mind.
Take movies today, there may be a shortage of imagination in that department as well. If it isn’t a remake of an old movie it’s a film version of a comic book. I think I am becoming cynical, and I don’t even know what that word means.
I write fiction because it’s my imagination that keeps me going, and besides, real life to scary. I have always had a problem reading about real life brutality. It’s the same with movies. I have never been able to watch “Schindler’s List”. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schindler's_List) I started to once and I stopped a short way into the film, my apologies to the people who produced it.
Without imagination there would be no airplanes or cars or a whole bunch of things that make our lives better. We need to foster it in our children and in my case, grandchildren. I’m not saying that we should ban all those things that leave out or stifle our imagination. However we do need to limit them.
I have told my readers before that I play video games on line. I have a PS-3 and at present play a game called Call of Duty Black Ops. It doesn’t require much imagination to play the game. It’s ironic that some of the things like this video game that require no imagination to play required a great deal of imagination to create. I guess there was some kind of trade off in there somewhere.
Do you want to create imagination in your kids? Read to them when they are small. If they are older locate some games you can play as a family that require imagination to play and I am not talking about video games.
Have dinner as a family and tell stories while you are enjoying the food. Don’t be afraid to talk with your mouth full (although I would caution against laughing with a mouth full of mashed potatoes).
Life is full of adventure when you have the imagination to see it. You are never too young or too old to start on the path to a better and more fulfilling imagination. You can start today by picking up a book (preferably fiction) and start on page one. By chapter two you will be off and running.
I’ve got an idea, you can purchase a copy of my novel “Operation Armageddon” and … Sorry I couldn’t resist putting in the plug for my novel.
Anyway, start today and help build a better and more imaginative tomorrow. Until next time, remember to let your family know that you love them and don’t forget to feed the dog. If you don’t have a dog, feed the neighbors dog.
Please note that I am donating 50% of the royalties from my novel to "Soldier On". They provide housing for homeless veterans. Please help me help those who have given so much to provide the freedom we all enjoy.
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