The Importance of Imagination: An Invitation

Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times recently quoted President Obama as he reflected on his Secret to Surviving the White House Years: Books. “At a time,” Obama says, “when so much of our politics is trying to manage this clash of cultures brought about by globalization and technology and migration, the role of stories to unify — as opposed to divide, to engage rather than to marginalize — is more important than ever.”

In today’s polarized environment, where the internet has let people increasingly retreat to their own silos (talking only to like-minded folks, who amplify their certainties and biases), Obama understands that storytelling stands as a bridge that might span usual divides. He knows that the art of stories holds truths that remain “under the surface of what we argue about every day.”  

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