Tuesday, February 3, 2015

In Defense of Imagination

Having just completed a cruise aboard a ship run by a company devoted to bringing imagination to life with two grandsons, I wonder about school systems which apparently are committed to destroying imagination.

The question comes from reading an article about a fourth grader in Texas who was suspended for bringing his Tolkien Lord of the Rings ring into school and suggesting that he could make a classmate disappear. This was considered a threat by the school and the boy, Aiden Steward, was suspended. It was his third suspension of the year.

Aidan's dad made the following observation to the principal of the school: “I assure you my son lacks the magical powers necessary to threaten his friend’s existence,” the boy's father later wrote in an email. "If he did, I'm sure he'd bring him right back."

Admittedly, there is something larger at work in this case since found Aiden has been suspended three times for apparently minor transgressions as reported in the referenced article. But, I have to giggle just a bit since the name of the school, Kermit Elementary, located Kermit, Texas, which is near the New Mexico border, evokes images of an imaginary green frog by the same name. 

The stifling of imagination may be one of the greatest threats to our future existence. Without imagination we would quickly become society of automatons. I like what Albert Einstein said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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