Friday, November 12, 2004

On The Mark -- A Crisis of Imagination

I was having lunch with a friend recently who was agitated because she had heard someone in the government state that our intelligence experts were surprised by 9/11 because "we're experiencing a crisis of imagination." My friend, who co-founded a non-profit afterschool program that uses the arts to work with at-risk middle-school kids, was flabbergasted by this statement.

"Where do they think imagination comes from?" she bellowed. "From theater class in school; from playing an instrument in the band; from...oh, I give up," she said, dejectedly. But she really hadn't, or should I say hasn't, she just wanted to take another bite of her salad. "With all of the afterschool programs being cut, these kids have no opportunity to explore their imaginations, to create and solve problems using creativity."

I hadn't thought about it in these terms, but she's absolutely right. Let's face it, video games can only accomplish so much (so little, actually).

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