A Beautiful Picture

by Ernest Armah

In my part of the world, less accolade is given to the power of imagination. What matters is the money that has to be made today and spent in the tomorrows to come. This is a fair perspective. But this is clearly crabby, drabby and un-inspiring.

It is of utmost necessity that we work hard to survive. And that should be a part of, not the whole of the picture of our lives.

Imagination is crucial to a fulfilling and meaningful life. It immerses us deeply into our thoughts and this often exciting (and sometimes torturous) journey help us discover what truly make our lives count.

I’ve often heard people discount the great  import of imagination. They say it is time-wasting, and distracting. Some claim it is other-worldly, thus falls short of the demands by reality. So I wonder – how do these people garnish their lives at all?

Imagination is the best movie our brain shows in our mind’s eye. It inspires hope and nourishes faith. Martin Luther King Junior would not have continued leading the civil rights movement had he not dreamed (imagined) that one day his four little children will live in nation where “they would not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character”.

Imagination incites creativity. We would not have had the iPhone had Steve Jobs not imagined wildly enough. The arts of every society which include novels, poetry, painting, dancing and so on would have been forfeited in the absence of imagination. Imagine life without these things? Like I said in the first paragraph, it would be crabby, drabby and un-inspiring.

There are problems to solved in this world. We have existing ways of solving these problems. Imagination tells us that there are still better ways of solving these problems. To discover these better ways, we have to revert to the crucible of torturous thinking, the activity which propel and decrypt imagination.

But do we set time for ourselves to just think about how to make our lives better? How to make this planet infested with 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty, with water bodies fast acidifying, with cruel cultural strongholds and practices a better place for the next generation?

If we do not imagine positive possibilities enough, the future would not be inspiring enough. If we do not set the sticks of imagination to flames, we can never ever get out of where we’ve been boxed.

Paint a beautiful life with the brush of imagination.