“Imagination” [from the Merriam-Webster dictionary http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imagination ]: “the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality”

It derives from the Latin ‘Imago’: image, imitation, likeness, statue, representation, ancestral image, ghost, apparition, semblance, appearance, shadow, echo, conception, thought, reminder, (rhetoric) comparison, (art) depiction [ from https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/imago ]

In my life I have heard quite a few sales pitch beginning with the words “Just imagine…”. I always felt this formula was abused to lead people to desire things they initially didn’t really need nor want, to evoke ‘wow’s in the audience with a show of smoke and mirrors. Very often I felt each novelty was blown out of proportion to seduce the ego of potential customers into buying more shiny things. Whether these products would turn out useful or not, helpful or harmful, ‘green’ or polluting, whether they would awaken people or making them dumber – in the long run – was never clearly part of those ‘images’.

It’s true that you should dream big. Harder to agree on what ‘big’ means to different people and entities, anyhow.

Was the roman empire ‘big’? Sure the Romans had expanded far and wide, but they did it with military campaigns, enslaving and oppressing people, and imposing their laws and values over each newly annexed territory. ‘Big’ as a colored area on a political map, maybe, but I doubt the conquered populations would have described the time they were having as ‘big’…

I think the better version of ‘big’ is the one that cares to grow compassion and love. My type of ‘big dream’ is more Utopian, according to many, but that’s precisely why I think it’s the only dream large enough to deserve everybody’s attention.

“[…] Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”

– John Lennon