Monday, April 6, 2015


Do you believe that humans are losing their ability and desire to use their imaginations? Do you believe the human race has lost some of its potential for imagination?

Not easy questions, I know. Let me give you my opinion. If you look at all of the inventions and innovations that we have in new products in our global society, it would be a hard to convince anyone that the world's imagination was not alive and kicking. But, what about the rest of us, the 'non inventors'?

Use it or lose it...

We have all heard the saying use it or lose it and it is my contention that modern society is less imaginative than our ancestors. How can I contend this without surveys and studies? It is simply my belief and opinion. I believe that imagination is like everything else in our mind or body. We use it or we lose it. Said another way: Practice makes perfect and I believe that the conveniences of modern society has impacted the way we use or don't use our imaginations and brains.

It is my second contention that a high percentage of people spend less time on those activities that actually exercise their imaginations and spend more time on those activities that don't exercise their imaginations. As my mother would call them, time wasters.

As an example, let's pick on social media. People in today's society spend a lot more time perusing and posting on social media sites. Is there much imagination going into reading other people's posts or tweets or is that pretty much a no brainer? I will let you answer that one, but from my experience having gone through social media addiction and rehab, I can tell you that my mind is no better off after indulging in social media fodder. 

How about television? How much imagination goes into watching television? Or what about video games? I am not a video game player, so I cannot answer that one. I am sure there are some games where you have to use your imagination to succeed. Now, as far as television, I am an old hand. Sports, drama, comedy, documentaries, news uses, I have seen it all and I can tell you, at least from my experience, television is pretty much a no brainer. Entertaining yes, exercise for the brain and imagination, not hardly. I usually watch television when I am too tired to think about more productive things. closed? It is for me.

So, how can a person better utilize his or her imagination?

This weekend I turned on my classical music and sat down and read a very interesting historical fiction novel about the Viet Nam War. By the time I had even realized it, the author had sucked me into the story and into the characters' minds. I could actually imagine the water and mud squishing in my combat boots and when the main character in the story swatted a mosquito, guess what I felt, the slap and the sting. There is nothing...I repeat...there is nothing like a good book to make you utilize your ole imagination.

Now, I have a confession to make. I am an author. Not only am I an author, I am an author of seven fictional books, a prime medium for exercising my imagination. If you are anything like me, my imagination works overtime when I am reading a novel from one of the greats or writing my own novel. As an author, it is my goal to get the reader to use every bit of their imagination by creating believable characters and a plot that keeps them interested right up to the very end. For me, the great escape comes from books. There is no entertainment quite like reading and there is no better exercise for the brain. Give it a try if you haven't read a book in awhile.


Click for John Bradford Branney Books

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