Tag Archives: Imagination


“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man [or woman] contemplates it, bearing within him [her] the image of a cathedral.”  Antoine de Saint-Exupery

What are your wildest imaginations? Have your imaginings come true?  How did you make them happen?

During my growing up years, the only clothes I had, other than shoes and coats, my mother made for me.  We visited the remnant table in Blass’s basement and she would select remnants for the dress, skirt, blouse, or shorts she planned to make.  She would buy a pattern that I liked, then adapt it to fit her idea of the best design for my clothing.

I was a child who I didn’t want to stand out.  I liked the clothes my mother made me but sometimes they were too stylish. I felt uncomfortable, but never complained.  Sewing, for my mother, was not just about making clothes; it was also her creative expression.

I learned from Mother that you can take almost anything and change it into something different.  You just have to use your imagination.  For years as an adult, I made my own clothes using her approach, but when I could afford to buy them, I stopped sewing so often.  By then I had developed other ways to use my imagination, writing poetry and short stories and creating interesting lesson plans for the students I taught.

Imagination and Creativity

Our imagination is at the basis of all creativity and can be used in all areas of our lives.  Last week in the blog, I wrote about how what we see and the way we see creates a vision.  In order to put our vision in action, we must imagine the route to take.  We may imagine many routes, looking at each one, evaluating the possibilities and difficulties of each approach.

For example, many young people have to work while attending college or technical school.  This isn’t an easy path.  It will eventually lead them to becoming the lawyer or nurse they wish to be and allow them to make the money they need to live a good life.  But challenges also come with the plan: arranging child care, fitting hours together for school and work, or perhaps transportation issues.

Imagining to Reach A Goal

As we put our vision in action, we may discover that what we thought we wanted won’t work.  We have to find a better way to achieve our goal.  We have to stretch our thinking to find the most effective way to succeed.  The value of imagining and exploring many possibilities may push us to look at solutions we would never have considered until our imagination took us on this journey.

Even when our physical lives restrict what we experience, our imagination is unlimited if we allow it to be open.  Jean-Jacques Rousseau said, “The world of reality has its limits; the world of the imagination is boundless.”  This is why I love writing.  It allows my mind to flow, play with words, explore ideas that I couldn’t pursue in real life.  It also enriches what I do experience by pushing me to look beyond the physical aspect.

Understanding Differences

Imagination also helps us to understand those who are different from us.  I became a high school teacher in inner city New Orleans teaching mainly gifted black students. I was not racially biased and felt I could give them the support they deserved.  But I discovered there was much I didn’t understand about their lives.  It was an education for me and I felt compassion for their struggles.  Despite the challenges they all faced, I still pushed them to imagine how their exceptional intelligence could lead to a better life and what steps they needed to take.

It isn’t easy to break patterns that have been used to define us.  Parents, teachers, or employers may continue to support personal or cultural patterns that limit who they are and how they see those around them.  But when we allow ourselves to imagine life beyond the poverty, race, hate, or economic situations of others and imagine they could move beyond those limitations, we also open the world to ourselves.

Making Dreams Come True

 In our imagination, we all have dreams.  One of mine was writing a memoir.  A part of me said, “Why would anyone want to read about your life?  You’re not a celebrity.”  Another part of me said, “Others can learn from your experience.  It may help them to have the courage to become who they really are.”  Would anyone want to read my book?  I didn’t know, but I knew that writing it would help me grow, and it did.  My imagination led me through the process, around the curves, and helped me climb out of the ditches I fell into.

Writing was one thing, but creating the format and handling the technical aspect of self-publishing almost stopped my progress.  I barely understand what I needed to do.  So, I asked other writers, and to my astonishment, two people offered to format the e-book and help with the paperback.  Then I found a class with an incredible teacher who led me through many technical difficulties.  Eventually, the pile of papers I worked with every day became an actual book.

Awaken to your imagination.  Imagination is not just mental activity. It is also energy and that energy may draw to us exactly what we need when we allow ourselves to see, imagine, and visualize our desire.  A pile of rocks can become a cathedral and a pile of papers a published book.

© 2020 Georganne Spruce









“What is a weed?  A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

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 Do you feel that others see your virtues and value them?  Do you know people whom you feel are wasting their lives?  Have you seen anyone transform from a weed to a beautiful plant?

Last night I watched a movie, Freedom Writers, which came out several years ago.  It’s the story of a first year teacher who takes a job in an inner city Los Angeles school teaching the students others have decided can’t learn.  Her students are the “weeds” growing in that garden.  They’re minorities and members of various gangs, and having them in the same classroom creates a potentially volatile situation.

Cover of "Freedom Writers (Full Screen Ed...

Cover of Freedom Writers (Full Screen Edition)

We Are More Alike Than Different

Other members of the faculty see these students as weeds that need to be plucked and discarded.  They have been integrated into the school and “ruined” it.  But the new teacher just sees them as kids she can teach and even when her first approach doesn’t work, she tries something new.  Then one day, she plays a game.  She tapes a line down the center of the room, and she asks a series of questions, such as “How many of you have lost a friend to gang violence?”  If they can answer yes, they step onto the line.  By the end of the exercise, they can see that they have more significant events in common than the differences that have made them enemies.

As the year goes on, the teacher exposes them to more experiences that show them they are of value as human beings and that what connects them is greater than what separates them.  They begin to bond as a group, they do their homework, they become engaged with learning, and they blossom as they discover their own virtues.

The “Weeds” of Our Society Need Us To Respect Their Virtues

Having taught high school in inner city New Orleans and in towns near Albuquerque, I worked with minority students in environments that did not encourage their growth or success.  I’ll never know how much difference I made except in a few cases, and I certainly never created a transformation like the one in the movie, but I do know this.  The “weeds” of this world are just waiting to blossom, and they need to be fed with respect, love, and kindness.  They need someone in their lives who can look deeper, see their virtues and help them develop their strengths.

There Is Always Inner Beauty Within Those Who Are Challenged

But the kids who need help don’t always come from the inner city or poverty.  There are young people from the middle class and wealthy families who lose their way.  I know one who became involved with drugs in an attempt to self-medicate an undiagnosed medical condition.  The addiction lasted years despite having parents who loved him and had the resources to get him help.  He was talented, intelligent, and yet….

Celebrating Survival and Growth

I don’t know what haunted him so much, but we all loved him.  This past week, when he married a wonderful young woman and the mother of his child, we celebrated much more than a wedding, for many of us feared he would be dead long before now.  So, we celebrated his survival and the blossoming of a new life.   We all had seen his virtues long ago.  It just took him much longer to discover and develop the best of who he is.  He is learning how to go deeper and live his life from a spiritual base.  And he is an inspiration to others who have despaired.

Self Love Is the Basis of Empowerment

One reason this young man survived is because he had many loving people who supported him, but too many young people don’t.  Many have parents who don’t parent, who are addicts themselves or who don’t know how to nurture because they have never been nurtured.  As a society, we need to remember that all human beings have value.  One of the most profound questions facing us is how do we transform our systems, health, prison, and educational, so that they heal and empower people, especially young people, to learn to love and value themselves, for self love is the basis of empowerment.  It is hard to love oneself when those around us see us as “weeds.”

We Must Be Able to Imagine a New Life

Napoleon Hill offers a wise approach to transformation when he says, “First comes thought; then organization of that thought into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality.  The beginning, you will observe, is in your imagination.”  But if you don’t feel you are worthwhile, you will not dare to imagine you can accomplish what you desire.


Imagine (Photo credit: Javier Q.)

Education Must Teach How to Creative Thinking

So many young people do not know where to begin, and if their desires don’t fit with family values or society’s values, but yet are worthwhile, they face a dilemma.  They don’t know how to fill their needs.  That is why our educational system needs to be revised to teach young people how to think because it is their thinking that will allow them to create plans that can transform dreams into reality.  Most importantly, we need to move beyond just valuing logical thinking and become more creative with our thinking so that all possibilities to meet our deeper needs can be considered.

Imagine What You Desire

Imagine how wonderful life would be if we could all imagine being the people we truly wish to be and have the courage and strength to become that person.  May you find the path that will lead you to fulfill your deepest needs.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                       ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Freedom Writer’s Foundation, Napoleon Hill: Think and Grow Rich (video), A Thin Line Between Silence and Voice, Today’s Schools Lack Creative Teaching and Learning, Study Says