Given what it is to be a human, we have all but perfected the form of the ideal advanced organism. We are intelligent and sentient beings whose minds evolve and mature to the situations we grow up in.
However, I feel that one of the greatest abilities of the mind is to explore and understand things that are impossible, and entertain oneself with simple impossibilities.
Every day, thousands of people visit movie theaters in order to be witness to visual stories. These stories don’t affect our ability to put food on the table or provide basic needs; they exist for the sole purpose of entertainment. Some of these films tell not of a fantastic adventure, but of a realistic situation, bringing it to light for the observer. This case would classify as cognitive development.
Noting both sides, however; one sees that in the end, entertainment and development are necessities for both types of film. Every story and documentary simply function to convey a prod to the ocean of our thoughts. Whether it incites ripples or causes waves across the water, our thoughts are forever changed by touch.
Often, a the theme for these cognitive stimuli revolve around the idea of "What if?" What if there was a man who was "faster than a speeding bullet?" What if he was "stronger than a locomotive" and could "leap over tall buildings in a single bound?" Before Superman and the rise of the comic book heroes, who was there to stir
Now, if we didn’t have Superman, would America be any less of a country today? If Superman hadn’t been around, would be have still have and energy crisis in the making? Global warming? Unemployment? Of course we would, but Superman has served many other purposes.
As a little boy, I dressed as him during Halloween. I drew him in art class and read his comic books in awe and reverence. His presence as a symbol of strength and righteousness for the country has also provided for an effective allusion to any discussion. His impact has not been huge for the country, but in little instances, Superman has his own place in our world.
From him, were derived many other heroes, and concepts that are often literally "out of this world." With the expansion of our imagination, we become capable of amazing things.
Take Einstein, for example. Though a genius in mind, he was considered a relatively poor mathematician, who had other professors check his work before submitting some of his more famous theories into the science realm. Yet, through his understanding of physics and conceptual techniques, he persevered through his shortcomings and found answers and equations that hold true today.
"I have no special talents, I am only infinitely curious," Einstein said.
Einstein also said, "I’m enough of an artist to draw freely from my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
One of the smartest men of our time believed that true intelligence comes from one’s creativity, and the ability to apply one’s knowledge to their lives.
So I’ve mentioned it many times over now. What exactly is our creativity? This depends solely on the individual. Some may like to express themselves as writers, others singers. We see creativity in how we think and speak, in how we build and progress along with technology. The ability to see and function past the simplicity of basic needs is creativity. It is the ability to see things beyond what something is, to how something is significant.
"It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure." -- Albert Einstein.
It is as Einstein says. Though it remains logical to remain aware of the true state of things, it would also not do to forget the implications and the raw emotional power that creativity harbors.
So as the frost rolls in yet again, and the holiday seasons draw near across our calendars, take a moment to indulge yourself. Our minds thirst to be prodded, and have our imagination’s fire stoked. Make note of someone else’s impressive creativity and see how it changes how you express your own imagination through thoughts or actions. You may surprise yourself!
Chace Perkins is a student at Bellows Falls Union High School. His column appears monthly.