Problems are Solved with Imagination

By Shanae Godley

On most Sundays I take a moment in the afternoon to plan my week. This week I decided to go somewhere new to organize my thoughts and figure things out. The decision was easy, thanks to the free entrée Newk’s gave me for my birthday. I’m not a normal customer there, but today I’m glad I went.

As I was wrapping up my meal and personal planning session, I noticed a child around the age of 5 walking around in circles with his hands out before him, making a sound. After a while, he says “Look mom, I’m using my imagination!” His excitement was contagious and reminded me so much of my childhood and of a principle I wanted so badly to instill in my children. In our conversation about his car I learned that it was apple green and from the sound of things it had a pretty fast engine.

His mom stopped to speak with me about how important she thought it was to have an imagination. We shared memories from our childhood of not having much to play with or being able to go places, like Walt Disney World. The front or back yard was all we had growing up. It was up to us to create the world we wanted. We had to use our imagination.

Google defines imagination as “the ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful.” From the development of the first light bulb to the highway system, people have proven to be both creative and resourceful. I believe that many of today’s problems can be solved the same way many of our past problems were solved: with imagination.

For instance, Americans produce a lot of trash, over 230 million tons of waste each year. Of course we know that this is a problem. Last week I watched a video about the amount of trash we produce in America. I learned that in years past we were able to ship a lot of our recyclable goods to other countries. They would make a sellable product out of it and ship it back to the United States. It was good for the economy and it took away some of our trash! Well, much of this has changed. Some of these countries are starting to ship our trash back to us, as trash, and definitely not sellable. But that’s not the worst part! What’s really sad about this situation is that, according to the video, Americans don’t know what to do with all of this trash that is returning to us.

What do you think? Are we capable of figuring it out? Do we have enough people with an imagination who can solve this problem? Are we creative enough, as a people, to address the challenges that threaten our way of living?

I don’t know how many of today’s adults have the best of imaginations, especially if you were born after 1980 and you’ve be inundated with societal ways of using technology for everything. Like many others, I still believe that the children are our future, but I can’t help but wonder who will handle the big issues while the children wander around imagining apple green cars?

Just how creative are we?

Are you using your imagination for good?Shanae Godley, MPH