Imagine EMIS graduation 2018

Delivered 24/5/2018


Dear students,


Welcome to your last TOK lesson. As I told you before, TOK is never over. It might feel strange, but this time there will be no discussions and debates, I will do the talking and you will only listen. We have to try it once.


So, what did I miss talking about that is so crucial to mention here at graduation. The answer is easy, we did not talk enough about- imagination.


Around us in the world there is a wide spread and disturbing phenomena that we hardly hear about: imagination disability. Let me define it for you; imagination disability is the inability to imagine, to wonder and contemplate on things which are beyond our experiences, narratives and schemas. Many of us, too many, are anchored to the reality reflected to us by the media, limited by the stories we are been told about what can and cannot be, chained to our daily lives.


"Be realistic" we are being told over and over again, while forgetting that what we know as reality is the creation of other people imagination. Our society is far from being a pre-exciting condition, it is a direct outcome of concepts and ideas of humans with enough imagination and determination. Hence, being asked to be solely realistic is just being told to be passive and obedient.


Without imagination there is no freedom from the cables of now. There is no vision that we can make a change, a difference.


Unfortunately, I cannot tell you today that there is a general imagination deficiency in the world. There is not. We can witness every day how imagination that is based on hate, separation and supremacy is being taken seriously and becoming our truth. Reality of segregation and violence is not natural, it is constructed by people who imagine it and believe in it. We can imagine differently.


My dear students,

I want to ask you to be imaginative, not only realistic. Let your thoughts get lost in the wonderful field of unimaginable dreams. Hold on to your most crazy ideas and be loyal to your own thinking, be weird, be unusual with no shame. Don’t ever, ever, let others limit your own mind, to take away your ability to think differently. Unlike many other disabilities, imagination disability is something which is under your control. It can be avoided by embracing the understanding that your dreams are not inferior. Even if they are not valid now, it does not mean you should let them go. Dream on.


"Being the change" is first and foremost, being able to imagine a different self and only then a different world. It starts with your ability to imagine that you can be unique and to face the doubts, to face yourself and say- Yes.

Can I be different- YES. Can I be better- YES. Can the world be different- YES. Can the world be better- YES. Can I do something about it- YES, YES AND YES.


Try to suspend the automatic no, since saying yes to yourself is one of the most powerful tools for change that can be found. Peace in the middle east, BTW, might also start when you will say yes to your wildest imagination.


We all enjoyed at EMIS a reality which is the outcome of a powerful meeting between the vision of Oded and the dreams of Sisco. People may have thought they are crazy for trying to make this unimaginable dream come true, but you are all a living proof that magic can be done when you do not let reality stop you from making the important thigs real. Look around and find your future partners, the ones who will not be afraid to share the strangest and most ambitious ideas. Imagine together.


On my former office door there was a sign with a quote by Gorge Carlin "Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music". That was a reminder to myself more than to others. A reminder not to stop following my own imagination. Now it is my time to pass it on to you. Create your own music and enjoy it, even if you are the only people in the world who do.


Lastly, I want to share with you that two years ago I set down and wrote everything that I imagined could happen at EMIS if I came here, that was the very first thing I did. Some of my dreams came true, most of them still have not, but one thing that I could not even imagine is you. Our journey together and the spirit you brought to this community were beyond any imagination. So, I wish to thank you for fulfilling a dream I didn’t even knew I have.


My dear students, that is it. The lesson is over. I send you away with all my love and appreciation. Thank you and good luck!