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Rant & Rave

By Noelle Chun

Tuesday, April 18, 2000

Daydreams necessary
to innovation

OUR teachers stalk the aisles between our desks during independent work periods, searching for the unsuspecting, the oblivious daydreamers. "Stop daydreaming! Carry on to your work!" These poor souls' thoughts are shattered, perhaps lost forever.

What these teachers really should be saying is, "Keep up the good work!" Daydreaming is undervalued. I will go as far as to say that daydreaming is a vital function in our lives.

Daydreaming allows individuals to reach a part of themselves that can't be reached while conscious or while sleeping. The mind is allowing a random stream of thoughts. Although this doesn't sound productive, daydreaming is actually a good use of time. It allows a relaxed state of mind where ideas can be sifted, evaluated, and where critical thinking can take place. Sounds better?

This is only the beginning. For one thing, daydreaming is an important part of our learning process. Teachers feed us information and then have us work to apply the knowledge through class assignments. But in this manner, we are only permitted to take these concepts as far as homework directions take us! To break this barrier of programmed learning, we must let information saturate our minds by daydreaming.

Daydreaming benefits us two ways in the same amount of time. While it stimulates the mind, it relaxes the body. This is because daydreaming provides with us an environment free of physical stress, pressure or expectations. Daydreaming is so important that some people get paid to daydream, such as philosophers, writers and CEOs. People once called Albert Einstein a daydreamer.

EINSTEIN, who is arguably the man of the century, thought of the Theory of Relativity, that equation, E=mc2 , and other great theories, concepts that could only have been thought of by intense daydreaming.

And, gosh, what do people think Newton was doing when he got hit by that apple? Daydreaming is much better than watching TV or playing violent video games. For all you Pokemon trainers out there, you can earn "experience points" without ever leaving your chair.

It is not an uncommon viewpoint that daydreaming is a waste of time. These poor souls probably have not daydreamed enough to come to a well-thought conclusion.

Daydreaming is also an important process in creating visions and setting goals. It is essential that we think through our visions and goals, visualizing them in our heads, so when we are ready, we can pursue them effectively and efficiently with a wide open heart.

Silicon Valley, the hot spot of the computer industry, is at the forefront of today and tomorrow. Who knew that computers would one day be so important and make so much money? All of these Silicon Valley companies, saturated with wealth, had to start with a vision in someone's unlimited mind.

It is impossible to force yourself to think your way to a vision. It is like trying to smash a cube into a triangular hole. To survive in Silicon Valley, you have to be original. Silicon Valley is almost certainly a valley of daydreamers.

Daydreaming is inevitable. We all find ourselves lost in our thoughts occasionally. To stifle this is unhealthy. When you stifle daydreaming, you are killing your imagination and creativity. This will ultimately cause your brain to become less proficient, less effective and overstressed.

Daydreaming should be a priority. We can and should make time for it. If, in reading this, you got lost somewhere along the way, well, let's just say you were daydreaming.

Noelle Chun is an 8th grader at Punahou School.

Rant & Rave is a Tuesday Star-Bulletin feature
allowing those 12 to 22 to serve up fresh perspectives.
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