An Epidemic of Inactive Imaginations: Millennials, Maintain Your Magic!

Consciously conceiving narwhals earthy existence after math class in the seventh grade is a mystifying moment forever engraved in the innermost ridges of my brain, an imaginative chamber of creative reflection.

Fathoming the tusked beasts’ animate presence beneath the biosphere of our terrestrial orb as respiring aquatic mammals, a species swimming freely in the wild this very moment, is an eternal enchantment. Comparatively parallel, the emotional revelation is the equivalent to unearthing the prehistoric fossils of a yeti baby.

In a state of false perception, I thought narwhals were myths, fictitious and legendary creatures of the past. Essentially, the narwal enlightenment was like finding out that unicorns actually exist, in herds, roaming the highlands of Scotland.

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Distant realms of magic met daily realities of monotony.

This clicked when I lost my Harry Potter virginity. The remarkable discovery happened in the midst of my final year of high school, a crippling symptom of senioritis. Enchanting, tucked beneath the covers with a flashlight in hand, the seven-part series sparked a drastic imaginative flame permanently enriching my perspective to this very day.

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Captivating a creative perspective transformed ordinary activities and dreadful duties. As a wizard in training, revived from the healing powers of a senioritis potion, high school morphed into a Hogwarts-like social sphere. Provoking a new sense of excitement, I stopped skipping class to get donuts in the morning as school became an adventurous task. My poor grades rose from the depths of the Chamber of Secrets and I started putting spells on all the haters in my robotics league.

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Maintaining an active imagination enhances mundane experiences. Train traveling in dusty boxcars becomes bewitching journeys on the Hogwarts Express, or festive excursions on the Polar Express if you’re not a fan of witchcraft. Each and every person possesses the ability to create a ‘place’ where only the things you want to happen, happen. You’re never too old, life is way too short to live lame.

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Reality inhibits imaginative thinking.  

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up, Pablo Picasso

As “the Picasso of children’s books,” proclaimed by Time Magazine, Maurice Sendak exemplifies the importance of an active imagination in his book, Where the Wild Things Are. Following the iconic visionary’s death in 2012, a Los Angeles Times article states that the book taps into the fears of childhood and sends its main character — an unruly boy in a wolf costume — into a menacing forest to tame the wild beasts of his imagination.

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Librarians, psychologists, and many adults condemned the children’s book for being too grim and frightening. But a 1964 Los Angeles Times review echoed many critics: The “aggressive flight of fantasy” was “the best thing of its kind in many a year.” Sendak bristled at the notion that he was an author of children’s books and told People magazine in 2003 that he wrote stories “about human emotion and life.”

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Bring back the magic by thinking like kid again, back when everything wasn’t taken so seriously all the time. Life was an endless exploration, your imagination free to run wild wherever.

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About Jonathan Gonzalez

My name is Jonathan Gonzalez. I hail from Austin, Texas and am currently pursing a double major in media communication and studio art at Wheaton College.