Imagination or Knowledge?
In reply to the NaBloPoMo Prompt for:
Monday, December 16, 2013
Albert Einstein said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Do you agree or disagree?
Absolutely, yes, I agree. Who am I to argue with Albert Einstein anyway? He was a rare breed of genius, who was not only obviously knowledgeable - but also obviously wise and imaginative. I love the way he saw the world. I love the fact that he got poor grades in school, and went on to do what he did. It teaches me where to place my concerns.
Yesterday, my 8-year-old son was trying to explain to me this new understanding he has of the universe. He said that his mind worked it out the other day while he was playing outside. He was having a really hard time getting the words out, partly because it was a complicated theory, and partly because his mom was just not getting it. Every time I would think I knew what he meant, and would try to help him explain it, he would have to correct me. It was something about our relationship to things around us, and how it doesn't change, no matter where we go in the world. I still don't know exactly what he meant - but I was fascinated by how his little mind is working, and how deeply he thinks on things - things that most adults don't try to investigate. Mostly though, I was proud that his intelligence has not killed him imagination.
I value imagination, and open-mindedness - far more than a closed-minded, know-it-all attitude. Know-it-all's are usually never as smart as they think they are anyway - and even if they are - they're usually not very interesting. I much prefer to be around someone who is imaginative and creative. I also have a rebellious attitude toward some parent's constant push for learning - where every year, it's more more more - "I need to improve my child's rate of learning" - like their children are computers, and they are merely upgrading their RAM, to have the fastest one in town. They stuff as much education as they can, as quickly as they can, into their child's little brains. I'm not talking about the parents who spend time with their children, to teach them important things - even advanced things - and things that are developmentally appropriate. I'm talking about the parents who think that formal learning, and pushing their child into that world as early as possible, is the be-all, end-all to their existence. The ones who discipline their child if they bring home an A-. The ones trying to raise the next "Einstein", to flaunt their own intelligence. Not that I don't think it's important for the mind to be challenged, and to take advantage of the child's ability to soak things up while they're young. But past a certain point, I just don't see the point. I think we should just let them be kids - let them have time for play, imagination, and art. That's my kind of intelligence. That's my kind of person.
And now my own imagination is waning, because my simple mind has drawn a complete blank. I'm distracted by this large box that just now showed up on my doorstep. The box that holds my sexy new computer is staring at me, begging me to get out my scissors and slice it open. And my imagination is going wild at the possibilities that await.
© 2013 Lipstick and Lithium