Einstein Says Imagination Is Better Than Knowledge—And I Agree

If I was to be honest, I would have to say that 99 percent of my life is played out in my head. Manager is talking junk—what—I’m on my private island. Professor is rattling on about nonsense—what—I’m getting busy with Hugh Jackman. Its 2:00 a.m. and I’m watching yet ANOTHER delicious Burger King Whopper deluxe commercial—what—uh…I’m hungry (food advertisements—they sure know how to get you). But the beauty of your mind doesn’t just lie in your ability to project yourself into your latent fantasies, but to create entire worlds with endless possibilities. The world of Harry Potter, Middle-Earth, and Pandora all existed and were replayed a million times in the minds of individuals who indulged in their creative whimsy. The beautiful thing is that through their vision, we were able to travel back into our own minds and multiply and magnify the creative process.

As children this is what we indulge in the most. The dream world and the real world are wonderfully blurred. Nothing is absurd, no limit is impossible. Like for me, I thought that the best way to get to heaven would be to tie a bunch of ladders together, because obviously, the angels had to live in the skies. Plotting this exercise was something that occupied a great deal of my thoughts. Of course I kept this to myself, until one day I happened to casually share this with my mother. To my surprise and delight she told me she used to imagine the same thing.

When I got older, my penchant for storytelling became more pronounced. I had found a friend who shared and indulged me in this passion. Since I felt awkward about announcing myself as “the author”, I began our storytelling sessions by stating that I had a dream. This went on for years, with both of us aware of the truth behind these tales I spun, but we indulged each other and our own creative imagination.

This to me is the beauty of childhood, and the tragedy of adulthood. We never lose our ability to imagine—just told that it is not practical to do so. We go from seeing the world for what it could be, to seeing it for how it is, and many of us lose sight of the power and beauty that lies in just imagining. But for me personally, this is what I feel is most wrong with the world; the jadedness that stunts our growth, both emotionally and mentally. We forget that everything that is great about our world, every grand accomplishment, first began as a dream. This is why I agree completely with Albert Einstein when he stated that “imagination is better than knowledge.” A person can know things, but if they cannot indulge in their own fantasies, they will never be able to see the possibilities of where that knowledge can take them. A creative person isn’t solely an artist, musician, or a writer; a creative person is one who never loses sight that imagination is the gateway of mankind. To live as if one has infinite potential; to dream as if you are an eternal child.

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