As a writer, I recently found myself wondering about the imagination. The imagination is an integral part of our species. Every human being has an imagination.
Why? I wondered. Why does every one of us have an imagination? Why is the imagination so important to us?
Human beings have certain needs. We need food, water, shelter and clothing. These needs are necessary for our survival. They are survival needs.
Okay, so perhaps humans have imaginations to help us to survive. Perhaps our imaginations are necessary for our survival.
My imagination could inspire me to create an apple pie. But my survival doesn’t depend on the apple pie. The apple, itself, is all that’s necessary as a basic need – food.
My imagination could inspire me to build a house. But my survival doesn’t depend on the house. A cave is all that’s necessary as a basic need – shelter.
I realize that today’s population can’t all live in caves. We don’t have enough city-sized caves. Honestly, I don’t need my imagination to work this out. I need logic.
If I’m being pursued by a man-eating tiger, my survival isn’t based on whether I can imagine becoming dinner or not. I know I’ll be dinner, unless I can escape. Will my imagination help me to escape? Again, I need logic. Good instincts would help, too.
If I fall in a lake and am in danger of drowning, my survival isn’t based on whether I can imagine being rescued or not. Let’s say I imagine being saved by aliens. Sure, that’s going to help. Not! Again, I’m back to logic and instincts.
Imagination could come in handy if I want to cross a river. My imagination could inspire the invention of a boat. But is the boat necessary for my survival? I doubt it. Surely, I could survive by remaining on my side of the river.
I kept thinking about basic human survival. Try as I might, I couldn’t establish imagination as a necessary tool for human survival. Food, water, shelter and clothing – yes – but not imagination.
What about imagining fairies who live at the bottom of the garden? No, that doesn’t help our survival. What about a boy who goes to a magical boarding school to learn how to be a wizard? No, that still doesn’t help our survival. What about a girl who falls in love with a vampire? Maybe the girl should worry about her survival but this idea has nothing to do with our real life survival.
Then, why do we have imagination?
So we can have light-bulb moments like this one?
I realized that imagination isn’t connected to basic human survival. But there’s no doubt that we have imagination. Follow the logic here – or use your imagination.
If imagination isn’t connected to basic human survival, but we have imagination nevertheless, then logically humans are meant to do more than just survive.
Imagination isn’t necessary for our survival. Yet, we have imagination. Therefore, humans are meant to do more, much more, than survive.
We’ll assume that humans are surviving – and I don’t think we need our imaginations to make this assumption – then our survival needs are largely under control. We don’t have to worry about food, water, shelter and clothing to the same extent as our cave-dwelling ancestors did. We’ve come a long way over the millennium.
So, we’re assuming our survival needs are under control. Now what? This must be where our imaginations come into play.
We survive. Great. Then what? We use our imaginations.
Imagination assumes that our survival is under control because imagination isn’t necessary for our survival. With our survival under control, we can enjoy the pursuits of our imaginations.
With imagination, we go beyond, further, than mere survival. Humans are meant to survive. That’s why we have survival needs and instincts. Then we can go beyond survival, to a better place, of potential, growth, self-improvement, development... imagination.
We use our imaginations to:
- Create, design and invent;
- Solve problems:
- Cope with anxieties and challenges;
- Relax and play;
- Improve our lifestyles and quality of survival; and
- Achieve and maximize our potential.
If you’re just surviving, then you’re missing the meaning of life. The meaning of life, for humans, is to go further than survival, to utilize the imagination. So that we can make this world a better place for ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbors and everyone else.
The meaning of life is imagination!
We are here to use our imaginations and make this world a better place for all of us.
The question is: Are you surviving, or are you making this world a better place?
Use your imagination!
Thanks for reading. Until next time....
Take care and all the best,