“LIGHT UP THE TORCH”

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” ~Albert Einstein

Who could “light up the torch” of children more than Dr.Seuss. He would say that his stories and art were based on a logical insanity, a phrase that sounds like a paradox but really isn’t. As he explained “I start with a two-headed animal I must never waver from that concept. There must be two hats in the closet, two toothbrushes in the bathroom and two sets of spectacles on the night table.” When his stories introduce a logical aspect,it tends to satisfy the rational brain and permits the reader to enter into the fascinating imagination of his story .

But imaginative literature and art adds a beneficial twist: it encourages children to think and see the natural world not as it is to the rational mind, but as it could be. Rather, imagination teaches children the salutary mental habit of not-ruling-things-out. Once you’ve accepted, even for half an hour, the premise of a talking cat in a tall red and white hat, you’ve taken a tiny step towards expanding the mind.

Obviously, Seuss’ tales and art prompt their own ideas. Could a race of beings live on a speck of dust? How small would they have to be? Would they ever fall off? Could their voices be heard if they shouted? What language would they speak? Such questions are natural for children, but the ability to think about imgination can transform the way that all of us understand the world.

When Today, science presents us with a whole collection of counter-rational and apparently impossible propositions: that time runs slower when you move very fast, that atomic particles can be in two places at once, that the shortest distance between two points is really a curve. What irrationality. But true, nonetheless.

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” ~Albert Einstein

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