There are two ways we learn about the world beyond ourselves. Sensation, which tells us what is happening to or right around ourselves, is far stronger than intellectual perception, which tells us what is happening beyond ourselves. What we see and feel is stronger than what we learn secondhand from outside sources. The more imaginative we are, the better we are able to narrow this gap between sensation and perception and gain broader view of reality.
Imagination plays an important part in civil society. It allows us to empathize with other people. It allows us to picture people in far-off places or in the future.
Imagination helps us to visualize different possible futures and to construct “what if” scenarios. It prompts us to extend our concern beyond ourselves. Today, individuals, organizations, and governments are regularly confronted with situations that may extend further beyond our immediate surroundings and time than we ever had to concern ourselves with before. What we do today affects others we cannot see.
Imagination varies greatly from person to person, but on the average, it is weak. While this was suitable for the needs of our simple past, it is far from inadequate for the needs of today. Unfortunately, people who occupy positions of power are likely to have especially weak imaginations. For this reason many people see them as “sound, practical people” who can be trusted. Too often such individuals ascribe poverty to laziness, environmental concerns to extremism, and can enter a war with little empathy for the victims, or objective vision of its possible outcome.
Evidence and statistics indicate that in a few decades our world will be very different than it is today, yet it is very hard for most of us to grasp this simple fact. – Peter Seidel, Excerpt from Book; ‘THERE IS STILL TIME!’