life stuff / writing

Why imagination is more important than knowledge

You might think it’s odd, but sometimes writers don’t know quite what their book is about until they’ve finished it. Last year, my novel LOOKING AT THE STARS was published. I thought it was about war, refugees and the power of storytelling. And it is! The central character is a girl called Amina who is a natural storyteller – and through her stories, other people who have lost everything find hope again. But it wasn’t until I went to schools to talk about the book that I realised there was more to it than that. That this book was actually a representation of everything I valued and felt was important in life. And I didn’t realise that while I was writing it! But then I found this quote: einstein1 It was supposedly said by Albert Einstein, who was one of the brainiest people who ever lived. This amazing man who worked out the Theory of Relativity and had knowledge beyond most people – HE said that imagination was more important than knowledge. This is another version of what he said (we don’t have his exact words): einstein2 I love this. Because everything about our society is set up to value knowledge over everything else. Think about school: they test how much you KNOW about something. Which is useful because it’s relevant to future study and all that (I mean, you need doctors and accountants and teachers to KNOW loads of stuff) but it isn’t the full picture. What you KNOW isn’t who you ARE. And without imagination, how can we achieve? Without dreams, how can we climb mountains, write books and paint pictures? I did some drawing and colouring last week with my daughter. Not for anything in particular, just because it was fun to do. I used my imagination to design a picture. It made me feel good and happy. Imagining stories makes me feel happy too. If I feel happy, I can make the people around me happy. They can spread happiness outwards, like an ever-widening ripple. I can be happy here on GHB and send happiness out to all of YOU, lovely readers 😀 So my message to you is: keep dreaming. Dream big, dream small, dream sideways, dream in the dark, dream over meals, dream on the bus, dream outside, dream inside, dream in your head, dream on paper. Because dreams and imagination are more important to the future of humanity than anything else. And they can bring hope and happiness to you and everyone around you. What makes YOU happy? And what do you think we could do to value imagination more in our world?

5 thoughts on “Why imagination is more important than knowledge

  1. Hi Jo,

    I think stories are the most powerful thing in the world. 🙂 They help you to dream, and believe that anything is possible if you set your mind to what you wish for. Anything can happen if you believe in yourself. 🙂

    • Hi Laura – I SO agree. And sometimes, we can have a run of really bad luck. So many obstacles can be put in our way. But the only way to reach the dream is to never give up on it! I love your outlook; it’s always so positive. I’m sure you are a real inspiration to those around you 🙂

    • Hi Georgia – thanks for the link! I’d heard of Jonathan’s campaign but not properly looked into it. It’s a brilliant idea, and I know exactly what he means. I try to let my kids have unstructured time too – being ‘bored’ can be a great starting point for invention! Glad you enjoyed my post 🙂

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