“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discuss and create.” This quote from Albert Einstein has inspired me to think about our knowledge and imagination.
There is no doubt that knowledge is essential. We need it to survive. The knowledge of how to do our job and what is safe and not safe. People’s names, train timetables and where places are. Knowledge helps us converse with others and builds our intelligence. Some of us have more knowledge than others, as Einstein said “knowledge defines all we currently know and understand.”
The question Einstein has us asking is, “is imagination more important than knowledge?” My belief is yes.
Einstein reminds us that “imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.” Without imagination we would not have great pieces of literature or music to enjoy and be inspired by. Without imagination we would not have the technology and infrastructure we now rely on to live our lives.
Someone had to imagine a rail network, a flying machine and a device to listen to music on. Someone had to imagine a world with electrical power and dams to capture our water supplies. The imagination of these things lead to the possibility of their existence. Someone’s knowledge created them but only because someone first imagined their existence to enable their creation.