When a Laundry Basket Isn’t a Laundry Basket: The Gift of Imagination

Imagination is a wonderful thing. I’ve always had what might best be described as an over-active imagination. If my ideas weren’t keeping me awake at night, they’d have me waking at the crack of dawn — racing for the nearest pen and paper to jot down my latest inspiration. To this day I try to keep a notebook nearby at all times because one never knows when inspiration will strike! I’ve learned from experience that just as quickly as brilliant ideas come, they will just as quickly vanish into thin air. It’s best to be prepared!

I’ve got notebooks full of ideas just waiting to be developed. Some ideas get worked on right away and come together with ease. Some I come back to months, even years later. Some may never be used at all — but every idea is important and may be the spark for something else.

What’s been fascinating to me lately is to watch my young son’s imagination develop. I don’t think I’d ever really considered how early the imagination came into play. At 22 months old, I’m blown away by how much imagination and creative play are part of his daily life.

He has turned our laundry baskets into boats. He serves tea, water and pizza from his play kitchen to anyone who will sit at his child-sized table (and he’s quick to offer a refill if he sees you’ve downed your beverage!) Every night he drags my husband from the dinner table to play “Meow,” a game where the two of them crawl on the floor like cats. Every morning we listen to his favorite CD of train music. As we chug around an art easel in my office, he waves at the pictures we’ve drawn, saying, “Bye-bye Mama! Bye-bye baby! Bye-bye plane! Bye-bye donkey! . . and the list goes on.

One of my favorite lines from my film Flight to India is:

“An imagination is a terrible thing to waste.”

I believe that with every fiber of my being. Part of my job is to help people of all ages tap into their imagination. I take that role seriously because I am convinced that the power of imagination can change the world. No one is too old or too young to use their imagination. So what are you waiting for? Let yours take flight!

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