“Imagination is more important than knowledge,” insisted Albert Einstein, “for knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
Call me an optimist, but in a season where there is the potential for many young people to feel down, deflated and disillusioned with current circumstances, I think it is important to intentionally ignite our imagination. And for young people that involves daring to dream for the future, even in a time of uncertainty.
‘Dream’ can be seen as an airy fairy word these days, but what it really means is “a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal”. Dreams are fundamental as they set the framework for goals and drive daily decisions.
I know that many young people are feeling demotivated at the moment. This is only a natural response to the challenges of life with our uninvited guest, Covid-19, hanging out with us. However, let’s face it, there is not much we can do about this global pandemic, and while it is easier said than done, we must try not to let it dampen our dreaming.
If I rewind back to lockdown 2020, I was sitting at home without work and feeling without purpose but I still held onto dreaming about what could be. Fast forward to lockdown 2021, and I am busier than ever and have seen my dreams from a space of despair come to life in one year.
The alternative is spending time soaking in disappointment, distraction or disillusionment. So why choose to dream? A dream moves and inspires you. It awakens your passion. It fills you with hope and pumps your life with purpose and meaning. Now more than ever, we must encourage young people to talk about their dreams and discuss their passions in meaningful ways.
With that said, it is also important to acknowledge the need to lament the losses of this season, whether that be time spent with friends, impacted education or limited work opportunity. For some, dreams may be put on hold, adapted or have been pushed out to a later start date. Young people may be at different stages of processing and grieving these losses. And we must let them know that is all okay.
However, as the world seems to be closing in, we can rest assured knowing that this is a season that shall pass. Young people can still dare to dream and get excited about a future beyond lockdowns and a global pandemic. It is easy to fall weary to the weight of the constant flow of information, but perhaps the alternative is to take heed of Einstein’s words and stoke the imagination!