Society Pt. 2: Childhood and Imagination
Growing up, most children are taught to play with others, as well as, learning to play alone by themselves. They learn skills for life through learning to play with others and through solitary play. I am currently taking Human Development and Lifespan at my university and in that class for part of it, we learned about how vital various forms of child play are! So many forms of play are important for kids and people to experience and learn so that they can learn skills like problem-solving, various types of different realistic/nonrealistic scenarios, and so on. One of the things that can and does contribute a lot to those things is imagination! Even in my music and movement class, we have touched on the topic of imagination. It is something ALL kids need to learn how to use. Schools should also try to teach how to utilize imagination even as people get older because it doesn't necessarily go away.
Imagination is important for young and growing minds to be able to not only express themselves in various situations, but also for them to be able to express how they see the world around them! Imagination allows children to open their minds up to various things. For example, when you play music and you say dance like a flamingo to a young child, they are going to utilize their imagination to figure out what dancing like a flamingo may look like to them! You give some children a box of clothes for dress up, and one person may get out a dress and pretend they're a pop star or princess, and another may throw on a suit and tie and think they're a prince or a waiter. There are so many other benefits to using imagination! You have to let children have an imagination so they can not only have fun, but also to help them and their minds grow! Now, some may wonder if we ever grow out of using imagination, and to that I would say...
No! If you are taught as a child how to have and use imagination chances are you won't stop using it! Most people even once they are older, still use their imaginations in the same way, and also not always in the same way they did before. When children use their imaginations it can look different from that of an adult who uses their imagination. When an adult uses their imagination it may look more like a hope for, or idea to create something new like a piece of art! Someone else's idea may be to build this great big building to educate people on historical type things. Another person may use their imagination to create some amazing futuristic looking type gadget, and so on. Those are just examples, but those are also things that take imagination to come up with. For most, it is just disguised as a "hope" or an "idea", rather than something configured through imagination. But, on a different note, is it true that once you reach a certain age it is frowned upon to like using your imagination, or to like things you enjoyed as a kid?
I personally would like to say to that, is I think it is a joke, honestly. Society likes to try and tell us that by a certain age we have to "grow up", aka, you shouldn't like things that are considered for "children". Now, I think everyone can like whatever they want to like. Personally, I still listen to Disney music, watch Disney movies, and would not mind going back to Disney world again in the future. Even though I have been blessed to be able to go to Disney World SEVERAL times before. I still like several things from my childhood. I feel that everyone should find things that keep their inner child alive! I don't think that we should put this label out that says once you're this age, or once you reach a certain point in life you can't like this, or you can't go do this. I think that we need to ourselves help keep our fun and playful and POWERFUL imagination alive, because it really can keep so much and bring so much joy into our lives! On the plane ride coming up to Utah on the first of this year, I watched the Christopher Robin movie for the first time. It was so good! I won't talk too much about it in case you have not seen it yet. It is definitely a must watch and a perfect example of in a way what could happen to some people if you cut your imagination and childhood out of your life and forget about it. We need imagination and child's play simply because it helps you remember what simpler times can and have looked like. The freedom to be playful like a child and feel like a child sometimes is okay! However, would it be acceptable for you to act like a child all the time in order to keep your imagination alive?
No, you cannot do it that way. Obviously, yes, there is a time and place for everything. No, you can't go to work in a professional office or setting and think you can act like a child. You have to be aware of where you are and understand what behavior is and is not acceptable in certain settings. You can still use your imagination no matter where you are though! For example, say you work for a big company and you guys are all trying to brainstorm an idea for an ad to promote a product. You can totally use your imagination to help come up with an idea for an ad! Let's say you are a parent trying to plan a birthday party for one of your children who is turning 5 and you know they like outdoors, power rangers, star wars, and something from Disney or whatever. You can sit and use your imagination to see if you can figure out a way to incorporate if not all but most of those things to make the theme for your child's birthday party! We do not have to stop using our imagination! We do not need to stop appreciating things that brought and still bring us joy from our childhood just because of society. Society only has the power to control those who let it! So if you like things such as Disney, Harry Potter, Star Wars, things like stuffed animals, playing dress up, or whatever you enjoy embrace it and don't worry about what other people say! If it is something you like then keep enjoying it proudly!
Just because we get older does not mean our imagination and things that brought us joy in childhood have to stop bringing us joy! Embrace your inner child and do whatever you need to do to keep it alive! If you have children help guide them to find their inner imagination! The world can only be as magical and as useful as it looks to you! You create your own reality through the way you see and imagine things! Don't throw away your own magic, or your child's magic just because of the world around us! Teach your children to find and use their magic, and them show them when they're older when it can be used, and when it may need to be toned down some in other settings. Do the same for yourself as well! Let you imagination and inner magic show and feel it course through your veins as it brings joy and happiness to you, and those around you!
The Inspiring Hummingbird!