BY DOMINICK WONG, STAFF WRITER
If, by chance, you happen to have had a childhood like mine, you are likely no stranger to the dizzying heights of the Imagination. For children like us who had yet to solidify that strict, adult delineation between the Possible and the Impossible, it was all too easy to find ourselves overwhelmingly lost in the fantastic worlds of television, books, and our own creation. In our make-believe, play-pretend days, we had only to say it was so and, for us, it would be. Sticks became swords, floors turned to lava, toys came alive, and for those few passing moments nothing could rival that sheer sense of wonder. Because when we Imagined, we viewed and grasped that which was unseen; we entertained worlds other than our own. By the Imagination, dreams became reality. This was by no means a trivial ability.
But then we grew up, and between school, work, and all those other important responsibilities, there was little time to Imagine save for class-time daydreams that we knew to be more fantasy than reality; and really, that was the most important thing: being realistic. To some degree or another, we had already begun to tell ourselves that it was “childish” to let our Imaginations get the best of us. Because we knew that being a grown-up is realizing what is and what isn’t. It is knowing the difference between fact and fiction, and it is preferring the former. For we know that the things of the Imagination are false, and that, ultimately, the only useful, beneficial things are those that we can consider “Real”.
To us, this may seem rather obvious, but it is only obvious because we have already oriented so much of our behavior and mindset around this notion that something is valuable only to the degree that it serves our ends. All our decisions, goals, and values are based on preconceived ideas of what is and will be beneficial to us. When we become accustomed to looking at the world through this lens, self-benefit quickly becomes our only concern and, soon thereafter, the only thing we see. And so it is that when we speak of reality, we are, in actuality, referring to a “Reality” of our own creation, formed and featured around self-serving utility. In the margins of our collective myopia, there is little room for the Imagination or anything else that might contradict our “Reality’s” aims.
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