Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Power of Imagination

It's always a good thing to go over to Mimi's. Today she had a post up regarding J.K. Rowling's recent commencement address at Harvard. She directed us to read the full transcript of Rowling's address, which I did.

Rowling speaks eloquently about the values of failure, and of the power of imagination in our lives. Please go and read, or view the whole address. Meanwhile, these words struck me:

"But how much more are you, Harvard graduates of 2008, likely to touch other people’s lives? Your intelligence, your capacity for hard work, the education you have earned and received, give you unique status, and unique responsibilities. Even your nationality sets you apart. The great majority of you belong to the world’s only remaining superpower. The way you vote, the way you live, the way you protest, the pressure you bring to bear on your government, has an impact way beyond your borders. That is your privilege, and your burden.

If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped transform for the better. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better."

For those of us who claim a Christian heritage and vision, I hope and pray that the Christian imagination informs and empowers us as well.

He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall ot lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more; (Micah 4:3)

We have the power to imagine better.

5 comments:

Kievas said...

Thanks for sharing this!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

What inspiring words.

FranIAm said...

That is so beautiful- thank you and thank Mimi.

A Year Acceptable said...

This is beautiful, thanks for sharing. One of my favorite quotes is from the final Harry Potter novel: "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"

Grandmère Mimi said...

Diane, thanks for the link. I loved her speech. I would have missed it but for Ann. Shows how we need each other and feed each other. And so the circle grows.