When you’re a kid one of the greatest things to do is to pretend. Let’s pretend we’re on a desert island searching for buried treasure pursued by pirates. This scenario was heightened by the books turned into movies in the 50’s and 60’s written by Robert Louis Stevenson. The one that comes to mind is the children’s classic, Treasure Island. The Jolly Roger, a black flag with the symbol of a skull and cross bones was emblematic of this exciting and adventurous time.
The swashbuckling tales of conquest, romance, mystery, and of course violence brought a certain amount of intrigue that lived in the imagination of young boys. Acting out those tales took us to another level of “living in the experience”. This is only one example as I remember building (with my building blocks) forts, cities, and castles to promote epic battles within the confines of my room.
I loved building tree forts, playing capture the flag, and pretending to hit imaginary home runs to win game seven of the world series. It seems that these exercises were invaluable to promote thinking out of the box and extend the realm of possibilities latter in life.
The best scenarios of pretending had nothing to do with expensive toys, heightened technology, or some app or video game. This was real life within a framework of make-believe that fostered and enhanced the best part of our childhood. The ability to escape outside our lives to places, people, and events that stretched our imagination and formulated our belief in things we could not see.
I believe its important to step back and enjoy those innocent ventures into fantasy as a way to release the tensions of today and relish the pictures we’ve painted in a much simpler time. It’s funny how, at the time, it was so easy to dream and fantasize about a myriad of things to stretch ourselves beyond what we thought was possible.
When I was in the second through the 4th grade almost every report card had a note inserted in the comment section, “Tends to daydream, needs to apply himself more to his studies.” Then I read my best friends report card and it basically said the same thing.
Perhaps Disney had a greater impact than we thought promoting wooden puppets that spoke, fairy’s that flew, and knights that exclaimed, “Chivalry is not dead.”
Regardless of all of the places we’ve traveled in our mind the simple truth is that believing in things we can’t see, feel, or touch is not a bad thing. On the contrary, growing up in a simpler time expanded our horizons and benefited our imaginations. This property of a slower paced world helped our generation take what was impossible and create the possible eventually building watches we could talk into, spaceships we could fly to the moon, and unparalleled communication devices.
Build your dream around the knowledge that whatever you can imagine to make this world a better place for yourself, your family, and all those around you… is possible.
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