I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death. — Robert Fulghum, UU minister
This statement of the power of imagination to shape our world was written before our country was nearly torn in two by powerful people who wanted to create an alternate reality that served their singular nihilistic purposes. In the before times, we could entertain imagination without doubting all facts and scientific reality. Indeed, in the response to a deadly virus and a critical election, belief has at times had more power than fact. Too many people have been hurt or lost their lives believing in that dangerous alternate reality. Our democracy itself has teetered on the brink.
Yet we cannot let these experiences of the negative aspects of imagination rob us of the beauty and truth that it can hold. Without imagination there would be no art or music or literature. Without the ability to imagine a better world we would not be able to begin to create it. Creating more justice and love requires the ability to imagine that they are possible. Fortunately we have also put our faith and imagination into the work of science and democracy. Vaccines that will end this pandemic are here, and the will of the people has been honored. There is good reason to celebrate a more promising future today.