Last Saturday morning, at 9am I piled into a lecture room along with around a hundred other teachers. We had woken up early, most of us hit the alarm at 6am that morning, fueled with our desired choice of hot beverage, mine being tea. We were alert, notebooks open and pens in hand, poised, ready to take notes, to learn, for knowledge to be handed down to us from a wiser, more experienced teacher. What we didn't expect was to be asked to put our pens and pencils down, to close our books, and close our eyes. We were asked to imagine. We are bombared on a daily basis with information from screens. As a teacher I am constantly pressured to use the latest technology in class, to engage my students via a similar device to the one that is glued to the palm of their hand. This professor however, she was asking us to go old school. Real old school.
Do we imagine enough? Do we use our minds to create what we desire? Of course this caught my attention, we were talking about language teaching here as well as the law of attraction. Two things I pride myself on researching and knowing as much as possible about.
We were shown various exercises and activities to try out in the classroom using just the mind, it was incredibly eye opening. I was surprised that this was working, surprised, even though this is something I have fully invested all of my beliefs in. The power of imagining. I believe that it can be used for anything, for whatever you put all of your time into thinking about.
We were given a forumla for success, a sure fire way of achieving results:
Passion + Vision + Action = Success
Imagine if that is the only formula we need, just imagine that.
When language teachers work with the past tense with pupils we will always mimic, using our hands to point behind us. After all, the past is behind us. It means that we can correct students without speaking, they understand what we're saying and automatically fix their mistake. In China it doesn't work like that.
In China the future is behind you, for it is unknown, you cannot see it. The past is in front of you, where you can see it. Are we too quick to try and forget our past? Too quick to brush aside the life lessons learned and put it behind us? Probably.
The professor went on to say those who aren't capable of imagining, cannot read. A statement I couldn't agree more with. The fantastic thing about imagination is that we all have access to it. We are all able to do it. It is not only available to the rich, the already successful, the righteous, the lucky ones. It's available to us all. We can all use it, we can all change our lives, our actions, the world we live in if, for just a moment, we imagine.
John Lennon wrote the following words in 1971:
"Imagine all the people Sharing all the world You may say that I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one"
When I see what is going on in the world, what is at the forfront of the news right now, to me these words couldn't be further from the truth if they were written in a book of fairytales. However, take a moment to delve a little deeper, to look behind the scenes and you will see people who believe that we can all share the world. People of all races, sexes, nationalities, religions and beliefs fighting for this. Fighting for what they imagine to be a better world.
These photographs taken from the Women's Marches the World over are testiment to this. High profile people, great, well known companies such as Starbucks, Facebook and Google are also taking a stand. I'd go as far as to say this is the first time in history that so many people feel that they can and do have freedom of speech.
My young teenage students asked for my opinion on Trump in class yesterday. "What will happen to the world? What will it mean for us?" They implored with worried faces. I drew their attention to those who are not accepting no for an answer. To the outspoken people who are fighting for change. To those who will inevitably change the world. To those who do not believe that there is nothing you can do. Those who believe there is so much you can do.
I asked my students to imagine what would happen if those voices are heard, if those voices, through their passion, vision and action gain great results. What would the world be like?
So, now I ask you to do the same. Imagine.