Monday, May 09, 2005

imaginative thinking

Imagination is such a hard thing to capture and utilize, now that I'm almost 20. When I was a child my mind was an oasis of fictional worlds, making up stories a thing of habit. Not knowing anything better, I would approach situations however I desired, regardless of how others had approached the same situation.

Now, after years of social conditioning, I have succumbed to the numbing of my mind. I am lethargic in exercising my imagination, and like a muscle that hasn't been used, it has wasted away. I find it much easier to sit back and let other people think for me, to tell me how best to lead my life. I watch tv to find out how best to parent my children in the future from the seemingly endless 'super nanny' programmes, how best to renovate my house, or tend my garden, cookery programmes and celebrity fit club to find out how to eat well and stay healthy. I read blogs from intelligent 'theological' people to discover interesting thinking that i can recount to my friends. When people ask for my opinion is struggle to remember what other people have said on the matter, whether it be from a sermon or another conversation, and retell it as best as i remember. I read reviews of films and music so that i have someone else's opinions to talk about rather than think for myself. Life is easy as I never have to rely on my own resources but can count on other people doing the hard work for me.

How I wish to be able to 'think outside the box', to approach a situation apart from the path laid out before me by everyone else's thinking. I want to be imaginative again and have my own opinions and thoughts. Time to start exercising that ability again!


steveg said...

Whilst some of these things I definately relate to, I have exaggerated a little, so I'm not that unimaginative! I thought i'd just qualify that i don't think there is any problem with referring and studying other people's thinking and opinions....for to grow we must build upon what others have studied. But I was trying to point out the difference between relying on your own thinking about what other people have said and relying on their thinking as the basis of your 'opinion' which is nothing more than a regergitation of what someone else has said.

andy goodliff said...

Steve I would echo a lot of what you say. I think we live a time where we want someone else to do the imagining for us, we don't like the hard work - so we avoid making plans, we want our teachers to give us the answer, we want ready-made meals, we want to be told how to vote: in the end we don't own our thoughts and perhaps even lives. That's why you got to respect the person who chooses to do a PhD, or the inventor, or the artist, or the musician. imagination is always part of a conversation someone else started, but its about working out our own answers and sometimes taking the conversation in a different direction.