The cost of dreams

I just read an article about a speech the Norwegian writer/translator Tor Åge Bringsværd made about the strange relationship we have in Norway to imagination and children. He basically asked why we don’t kill off the imagination earlier in our society, because kids will not need it later in life.

I don’t know what it is like in other parts of the world, but I imagine it is basically like here. We have become a more homogenous world, where making money is more important than anything. Kids are brought up to play, but as soon as they are a part of the grown up world, they can no longer dream. You do not have time to lose yourself in a world you have created. You have to make money to be able to pay off all those credit cards, the student loan, your mortgage, etc. If you do not contribute to society in a monetary sense, then you should get in line. So why then encourage the creative behavior of children? That was the question that he posed himself and I would say that I agree. Why do we continue to foster the illusion of creative thought if we’re not allowed to dream as adults?

Shouldn’t we be allowed to stare at the sky instead of constantly keeping an eye on the conveyor belt that passes by us at work? Is the system more important than the individuals that make up the system? Please let me know what you think and if the situation is any different anywhere else. I might move there.

Rant over

7 comments

  1. When my daughter was younger I would make up stories for her bedtime. Reading the classics worked but when she was 6 I started making up our own. I say our because she helped me with plot lines and characters she wanted to introduce into the stories.
    We had stories about dragons, elves, resurrected entities and other wonderful beings. Crescendos of plots and plights along with depths of despair and turmoil leaving little options for the characters to see daylight to emerge from their plights.
    In doing this my daughter learned to use her imagination to solve everyday problems. What if, if grounded in logic and knowledge is the best imagination a parent can pass onto their children. I find reading the above article saddens me. To think stifling a child’s imagination instead of prodding, poking and encouraging it.
    Adulthood is plastered with responsibilities and duties that must be and one can lose their time/ability to foster creative imagination. I for one refuse to grow up and can’t imagine a world where I don’t “make” time to be creative to one degree or another. My daughter is older now and still make time for a good story now and again. I drive an hour to and from work each day. I still take time to make up stories and think about the “what ifs” in life. A day or time without that would be just, well boring.

    1. As a observer teenager ı can say that drems of a child are suffered from not only to live in grown up world but also not to have true things to believe. ı think adolescence period is the most harmful period for our or children’s dreams.ıf the child can protect his/her dreams when he/she is teenager grown up world can’t hurt his/her dreams ,pure feeling and opinions. but it is important that teenagers are always cheated trick of growing world and end of dreams…

  2. Why not do both? Teach kids to dream and have an imagination but also teach them that life is more than dreams and self-realization. It is about responsibility, sometimes doing boring things to pay the bill. An ordinary work is not the death of the dreamer or imagination. It is not failure. You can live a full life even if you are working at the conveyor belt. Creativity is present in every job. You just need to find it. Not being happy is failure in my eyes. Not accepting where you are in life and why you ended up there. Chasing dreams can often bring unhappiness and pain. If it is the pursuit for money and material goods or living of artistic and creative skills.

    In my line of work have have to meet and counsel young people that want to make a living of there creative skills and imaginations. In film, television, writing or games. I have to listen to these young hopeful people with different skills-sets and qualities, many how in my view are doomed to never make it. How are going to be unhappy because the never “made” it. That again will kill their joy for imagination. Many have other skills that would make them perfect in a “normal” job and be happy. But it is not my job to break dreams or say your are not gonna make it. Lucky I is not up to me to deiced and my tastes and opinions are just that, my own. So I try to tell them, go for plan A (even if I do think the person sucks and will never make it) but have plan B. And embrace both when you need to and be happy.

    I see creativity and imagination every day. In science, art and entertainment. I think Tor Åge Bringsværd is oversimplifying and may just talking about one type of creativity and imagination, the one he is using to make his books and stories.

    1. Of course we need all people with all skill sets, but there is very little room for the creative mind in our society. Look at the people who the young idolize, not the truly creative mind like kids do, but the reality stars who do not really do anything. I have worked at the conveyor belt most of my life and I have tried to make my work life better thru suggesting things that would make both happiness at work and efficiency increase, yet since I do not have a business degree, I was not listened to.

      And what Tor Åge was talking about is the fact that even in everyday life, we do not use our creativity and if we do, we will not be heard unless we have our collective noses up the boss’ ass.

      But still we do need all walks of life. Still being smart and enlightened isn’t really looked up to in this world.

  3. You might have to tolerate the grind to some degree to make space for your dreams or your creative imagination. However many great business ventures are based on the “childish” ideas. If nobody else is doing something, you might just succeed in doing it. You just have to stick with it for as long as it takes, and even if you fail at making money, I’m pretty certain you would have terrible life if you gave up on your dreams.

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