Have you ever thought about how travelling in space would feel like? Probably awesome and breathtakingly cold. What about how the world was like in ancient human civilization times? Perhaps fiercely beautiful and wild. How did earth form? Why did earth form? As all these random questions spring into our minds, we might not have the immediate knowledge to answer them; yet our burning curiosity propels us forwards, seeking for answers. Our mind is an intricate and complex instrument, churning out thousands and thousands of different notes of questions and ideas until we find those that resonate with our souls. As a child, one must have experienced moments of an inexplicable desire to understand something, to seek meaning in our lives, to do good in the society. These fleeting moments of passion are inexpressible and it is in their transient and secret nature that become precious and fragile, and although this burning passion gradually gets covered up by the pages of time, it still lives on in our hearts.
The curious nature of the human mind is what propels humanity to constantly ask questions and seek for answers; making astonishing discoveries, evolving as a species and creating wonderful inventions that impacted the world to this day. No question is too naive a question. All questions challenge one to think and formulate an intelligent answer; and through this process of thinking, we would have learned something new or solidified a familiar concept. Take the case of Isaac Newton for example. A simple question wondering why an apple should fall downwards towards the Earth’s core led to the astounding discovery of gravity. In fact, the most simple of questions may often prove the ones most challenging to answer. Age-old questions revolving around our existence or the presence of a higher power are still widely debated even up till this day.
With innumerable questions in mind, where do we seek the answers from? Well, we search for concrete hard proof in the real world which evidently justifies the answer to our question. Yet not all questions are so straightforward with a definitive answer and this is where we turn to our imagination. A classic example which illustrates this point can be found in the ancient Greek and Roman myths. Why are there earthquakes, tidal waves and floods? Well, because Poseidon was striking the ground of Mount Olympus with his trident. Why are there lightning storms in the sky? It was because Zeus was throwing his lightning bolts around. Of course scientific evidence in today’s world dispelled these myths, but it goes to highlight the extent to which our imagination would go to to invent an answer to a question we had been incapable of finding hard proof on in that era.
Yet beyond just questions stimulating our imagination, our imagination is also constantly jumping around from place to place like a wild, untamed horse. We are constantly tinkering with and fascinated by ideals that are seemingly unattainable. These are, of course, our dreams. Our imagination knows no boundaries; and there is no limit to our dreams. We embark on exhilarating journeys on a quest for purpose, seeking to achieve the impossible and it is in this quest for the holy grail does one discover more about oneself and find enlightenment. As Walt Disney aptly puts it, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Perhaps it is the courageous attempt to accomplish the impossible that matters more than the outcome.
To end off with a quote: “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” Our imagination is a thousand times more precious than all the material wealth one could ever possess, and our mind is treasure in itself. Perhaps what makes us so unique and beautiful is our singular and powerful dreams; believing in fiction and gradually molding fantasy into reality as we take tangible actions to build our ideal world.
Chen Xiang Le, 18S43