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Are we losing our imagination?

A short philosophy by Kevin Korpela (© 2004 observatorydrive.com)

On July 8, 2004, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) reported a 10% decline in reading by adults over the past 20 years. The study, Reading at Risk, also suggests:

"Literary readers are much more likely to be involved in cultural, sports and volunteer activities than are non-readers...People who read more books tend to have the highest level of participation in other activities." However, in a complicated world with complex problems, maybe our nation is losing more than only civic participation, maybe we're losing our imagination. A strident and original imagination can help solve complex problems with new and unique solutions. The NEA Chairman Dana Gioia said that: "As more Americans lose this capability, our nation becomes less informed, active, and independent minded. These are not qualities that a free, innovative, or productive society can afford to lose." Gioia also said that, "Reading develops a capacity for focused attention and imaginative growth that enriches both private and public life...To lose this human capacity - and all the diverse benefits it fosters - impoverishes both cultural and civic life." But maybe with more active reading, listening, writing and thinking our nation will nurture the imagination, propose unique solutions/options to complex problems, and enrich our private and public lives.

© Kevin Korpela, www.observatorydrive.comô