Opinion~ Einstein, Imagination, and The Artful Thought Project

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d...

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“Imagination is everything.”

 I was one of those children dragged inside with the sunset. I would get lost in my own little world imagining and pretending for hours until my mama would insist I come inside. A piece of birch bark would turn into a bowl for Sunday tea or a map to find a hidden treasure.. The possibilities were endless. I loved pretending. I still do.

My mother was an avid reader with a fondness for Einstein, one of the greatest minds to walk the Earth. A man that never combed his hair and never wore socks. Einstein was one intelligent man full of knowledge and get this, he knew the importance of imagination.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. 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.

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited..”

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. Imagination encircles the world”

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

“To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything.”   – Albert Einstein

It is no surprise that imagination is lacking in this gadget and technology world we live in today. There are fewer and fewer kids playing the game of pretend, reading, or playing outside. Instead, they are plopped on the couch watching TV or playing video games; on their IPods or texting a friend. Children spend most of their days at school where the importance of imagination has never been regarded has Einstein believed and now the use of imagination has been declining in education over the years. Below Leigh Melander, Ph.D. explains how the educational system is failing.

“Somewhere along the line, education became a consumerist contest of amassing skills and factoids and spewing them back to the world like game show geeks.  But when we become glorified databases, we lose the analytical abilities that keep us from being engulfed by systems (be they political, religious, societal, or media) without bothering to ask if they should exist at all. We have all of the pieces out of the puzzle box and arrayed on the table, but we don’t have a picture to follow.

And that’s what we’re missing: the picture. The image. The imagining. Our failure is a failure of imagination, both in what we teach and how we teach it, but also, far more importantly, a failure to understand that education is ultimately about imagination itself.” – Leigh Melander, Ph.D. First Printed in Creative Pulse Magazine Austin, TX
July, 2005- creativepulsemagazine.com

They say you need to make change to bring change and that every little bit helps. We decided with that thought in mind to do our part. So, we began the Artful Thought Project. A project to help build the imaginations of children through creative activities integrated with literature and art. A project we bring to our neighborhoods and invite you  to do the project too. 

To learn more about the  Artful Thought Project visit here

To conduct your own to be published in The River contact the editor for more information.


3 thoughts on “Opinion~ Einstein, Imagination, and The Artful Thought Project

  1. Absolutely wonderful to put the brainiac/Einstein here to display your art project. Grades are important, after all you must pass, but, what about thinking? Imagining? Knowing what you believe and feeling it. You’ve got me excited because with three in school, they are all so different in performance, and to sit for 7 hours a day everyday seems a bit much. Maybe they should have 2 creative days a week. Thanks River…will try and do..busy, busy.
    ps. I think they need less pressure on grades in school.

  2. I completely agree with you, Kim. They focus way to much on testing and not enough on teaching. Its like they are running education as a competition- on a national and global race track of who can out test the other. At the same time striping the creative and imaginative tools from the classrooms. Upping their math levels while taking away art. It’s like education is walking backwards.

  3. Hey River,

    Finally on the blog and who do I lay my eyes on first/ My first hero, except I combed my hair. Lolzzz! Well, most of the time anyway. So much he has taught us with more than the announcement of his ultimate theories – he taught more by that which he did not say.
    Thus – confirming the truth of actions speak louder than words.

    Kudos to you for the new venture. We can never expect eagles to soar above the clouds if we do not let them stretch their wings to fly…… Viva Imagination!

    Well written. Enjoyed it a lot!


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