This message seems especially true if you spend any time with children. I have two of my own that I wish all the best in the future. For this to happen I must encourage their imagination. So often I see parents and teachers stopping children using their imagination. This makes me sad. It is true that there are times when they need to focus on what they are supposed to be doing and I agree that focus is an important skill to achieve in the future. However when children have time to use their imagination it is time to learn from them. Yes, that’s right, I’m asking you to share in your children’s imagination. This is the birthplace of nearly all the things we hold dear in our lives. We seem to crave lots of material things, all of these came from imagination. Money – the notes and coins were designed and created by people. Gadgets – invented by people who saw a problem that needed solving. Houses, cars and other basic things we use like electricity, heating, clothing and even some of our food were created by imagination too.
All we have gained in the past goes hand in hand with all the things that are yet to be created in the future. We will pass on the things that we have created to our children who will use these ideas to create new things in the future to improve the lives of others around them. The best thing we can pass on is our imagination.
But what about schools? Schools today teach children the skills they need to be able to do the jobs that are around today. Some of the lessons teach children skills they are less and less likely to need for the jobs they may face in the future. Why teach children about drilling for oil and refining it for use in the vehicles we use today? The children in year one will not leave school for another twelve years. Will we have run out of oil by that time or have moved on to using new fuels or means of transport by then? I was taught about leaded petrol and the dangers of pollution caused by it, by the time I left school it had stopped being used. My grandparents were taught for many years about money that included shillings, crowns and florins and where a pound was equal to 240 pence. Then, in 1971 it all got decimalised to the system we use today. Some of the old measurements still remain (pounds, stone, feet and yards) but are not used much.
If imagination had not been encouraged in schools and by parents we would never have seen an amazing amount of things we use today. If children weren’t encouraged to
- develop skills with their hands,
- to create,
- to question the world around them,
- to search for answers to problems that they face,
- to search for hidden meanings in things and
- to communicate with others
the world would be a much different place. Children at this time of year start to imagine the most amazing things, they dream about magic and all the things that they will see.
Let your imagination go wild, dream big, enjoy it and then pass it on.