How do we make the world new?

I collect quotes about imagination. I think imagination is one of the most powerful parts of being human. I encourage it in my children, my students and my teachers. I am not sure of this but as I ponder what makes a master teacher I think imagination appears somewhere in my list.

Today the chapel speaker used this Emerson quote:
A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.
I wanted so to replace the word worship in this quote with imagination. The words are not mine to do that with. And I am sure that Emerson was much more careful in word choice than I am. So here are the questions this quote generated for me.

  1. So what do imagination and worship have to do with each other?
  2. How do they both contribute to the new creation that the future is?
  3. How might we add worship into the curriculum, because certainly I would like my students to imagine and create a beautiful world.
  4. Since, as Emerson points out, they will create a new world no matter what how do I get them to use the tools in my class to imagine better, create better and worship better?
  5. What other actions create the world new?

Do you have any more questions. What new worlds will your students create?

Imagination Produces Empathy

I collect thoughts about imagination, mainly because I think there is too little of it. Here is a passage from Wendell Berry's Hanna Coulter.

It is hard to live one life and imagine another. But imagination is what is needed. Want of imagination make things unreal enough to be destroyed. By imagination I mean knowledge and love. I mean compassion. People of power kill children, the old send the young to die, because they have no imagination. They have power. Can you have power and imagination at the same time? Can you kill people you don't know and have compassion for them at the same time?
I love the picture. As I play with how to best teach physics one of the powerful motivators is to imagine ourselves using our new talents in physics to change lives for the better. This has produced powerful images for students that truly motivate them through the harder parts of learning physics.