On Radical Imagination

When Margaret and I got married we committed not just to each other, but to the act of creation. It was in our vows, in fact. 

We literally pledged to make: art, meals, a home, babies. 

Of course this path isn’t easy. Your favorite movie or favorite meal only got created because someone dared to imagine something that wasn’t there before. 

A few weeks ago Margaret had been in my office to drop something off. When I came back, I found this written on my whiteboard:

She’s right.

Nothing great ever gets made without radical imagination.

I have scores of friends who are starting things these days - families, films, companies, new movements, new ventures. I also have scores of friends and family who are stuck and unable to imagine that life could be anything more than it already is.

When I look at my daughters I can’t help but imagine what they’ll grow up to be, do, or make. My heart is overwhelmed at all the possibility. But after years of living in our world, I'm aware of the reality that life is plain old hard. And that making things, truly original things, is even harder!

While I don’t believe there’s some Candyland fantasy awaiting us if only we can dream it into existence (some believe-hard-enough-and-it-will-come-true-kind-of-thing), I do want my girls to know that the future belongs to those who acknowledge their fear of the unknown and yet continue to move forward. I want them to dream of an alternative future that is better and more hopeful than anything even I imagine. And I want these fierce girls to be the mayors of that future.

As my wife says, “we need radical imagination now more than ever - to conceive of some better, alternative, hopeful future.”

So, will you?

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