Einstein said, “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.”
Kids seem to reach this realization naturally. Often they grow out of it and only return briefly when something touches them deeply enough to believe and imagine once more.
If there is any time of the year to be a kid or at least a kid at heart, it’s Christmastime. Even when I was a brooding teenager, I couldn’t deny the magic of Christmas. Something about the lights, the kindness, the perpetual hope of the season, special movies that never go out of style, and, of course, the real reason for the season.
This time of year it seems like everyone is willing to play, imagine, and participate in all of the good feelings that make Christmas—and childhood— so magical. From commercials to news stories of kindness to the many people that donate their time to ring bells in the cold, gather coats and food for the less fortunate… the selfless feelings that travel in perpetual waves and embrace the true spirit of human goodness.
And it is not knowledge that brings the conclusion of caring and kindness, but imagination. All there is ever is “to know and understand.”
“This girl said that Santa Claus isn’t real. She’s in third grade so she knows,” one of my daughters confided in me the other day.
“People are allowed to believe anything they want to,” I told her. “That’s what makes the world a colorful place.”
She thought about it for a while. I could see the gears turning as her eyes glimmered with the warring conclusions in her mind.
I was happy to hear her participating in the subsequent impromptu musical in the playroom with her sisters, “Santa Claus, the Ninja, and the Fairy Princess Who Saved Christmas.” (Or something along those lines!)
Knowledge is a powerful thing. But so is imagination. As silly and loud as it can get, hearing my kids play is an indication of the wonderful, creative, compassionate, brave young women they will become.
Wishing everyone a merry, playful, memorable, magical Christmas!