Reading Responses (Week 4)

Sections Assigned

Liu, Imagination First: Unlocking the Power of Possibility, Part 1: The Premise: 1-39

.The beginning of this reading was rather off-putting. Eloquently descriptive allegories of individuals’ creative ideas being shut down were compared to murder. That kind of hyperbole makes it challenging to want to read the rest of the passage. Although I understand the author is framing these instances as killing the passions and ideas of others, a statement like “murder was committed,” is so cringeworthy. For one, it demeans the severity of death and murder, but it also is a false comparison. In each of these situations, these “killings” of ideas could also be considered setbacks under the right, supportive conditions. Death is finite.

Continuing this theme, there was also a very strange accompaniment to the quote, “The reality is that imagination comes first. Until and unless we have the emotional and intellectual capacity to conceive of what does not yet exist, there is nothing toward which we are to direct our will and our resources.” Although I highly agree with this statement, the author then goes on to use both Nelson Mandela and J.K. Rowling as examples of individuals with vision. It feels tacky to compare the legacy of an individual who envisioned a multiracial democracy during apartheid to a single mother on welfare who wrote about wizards and became the creator of a major media franchise.

But, seeing as this is an assignment, I must continue.

I was excited to see Geoffrey Canada’s work come up in the passage. I am a huge fan of his model and would love to see it replicated across the country.

I also support the sequence of inherent imagination leading to creativity and then innovation. I feel like this concept helps break down the concept of creative people and not creative people. We can all imagine, dream, think. It is the application of these thoughts that institutes creativity. That means some effort needs to be spent. Failure must occur and we must learn.

The author continues by saying “imagination can’t be taught,” which is relatively true in my opinion. Imagination, like strength, memorization, or flexibility, requires a willingness to try to expand. Growing one’s capacity to imagine requires intrapersonal and often interpersonal support. By continuing to stretch ones ideas and push concepts further, one can imagine more fully.

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