As leaders (e.g. children's librarians, educators, caregivers), it is understood that we are to cultivate imagination. However, it was not until I read the final sentence in the following quote by Julius Lester that I fully understood the concept:
"The failure of modern living is the failure of the imagination. The root meaning of the word imagine is "to picture oneself." In other words, when we imagine, we create an inner picture of something not visible to our physical eye. One kind of picture we are all acustomed to is an image of something we have done or witnessed. This is the visual aspect of memory. It is not imagination. Imagination requires something more of us. It requires that we see what we have not seen, what we many never see, what may not even exist."
From "Re-imagining the Possibilities," The Horn Book, May/June 2000