Muhammad Ali once said “A man who has no imagination has no wings”.
There is a great truth in that quote because, as is often said, imagination can take you anywhere.
As parents or grandparents or teachers or aunts and uncles we can give our children wings by inspiring and developing their imagination. The best way to do this is to get them to read stories. Once they start to explore other people’s stories the next, natural, stage is to encourage them to write their own stories, thereby developing not just their imagination but also their creativity. Giving a child the realisation that they can imagine themselves anywhere is a very powerful tool not just for their enjoyment but also for life.
Sharing stories is not just a powerful way to develop imagination it also encourages empathy. That is a great skill to have, the ability to understand what other people think and feel, yet we cannot, other than by words and stories (in whatever form or media), get any insight into what other people’s lives are like.
Ali’s imagination, as well as determination, certainly took him places and he had great insight and empathy for people, which brought him a wide range of fans from every part of the world. Born Cassius Clay in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1942, Muhammad Ali first became an Olympic gold medallist in 1960 then world heavyweight boxing champion in 1964. He went on to reclaim that title many time becoming the most famous boxer in the world. Yet it was for much more than that he will be remembered, especially his charitable work and his dignified fight against the debilitating Parkinson’s disease from which he suffered for over thirty years. Ali went many, many places in his life, all on the back of his great imagination.
Indeed on Litrasaurus we have specifically included (in Perpetua which is the imaginary mythical land where Litrasaurus lives) a character called Fancy. She is a magical bird who can transport you anywhere you want to go … on a “Flight of Fancy”. This just reinforces the point that when writing a story the author can make anything that they want happen, and go anywhere … even to places that did not even exist before that story was written !
Just remember that before you can achieve or create anything in life you first have to imagine it, so it is essential, if our children are to succeed, that they develop healthy and positive imaginations, just like Muhammad Ali !