Imagination makes us aware of limitless possibilities. How many of us haven't pondered the concept of infinity or imagined the possibility of time travel? In one of her poems, Emily Bronte likens imagination to a constant companion, but I prefer to think of it as a built-in entertainment system.
Imagination and invention go hand in hand. Remember how lack of resources was never a problem in childhood games? Shift a few pieces of furniture around the living room, and you have yourself a fort.
Here is just the beginning of a list of skills that exam results cannot possibly hope to reflect: interpersonal skills, the ability to entertain, how articulate we are as speakers, our ability to work as part of a team, the ability to deal with challenges and invention.
The young people I know judge leaders by their deeds and abhor hypocrisy. Inconsistency and point-scoring do not win respect. It's not easy to be engaged in political debate when it is reduced to performers trying to outdo each other. Actions from leaders must mirror the values they claim to espouse.
Although technology has enhanced our lives in many ways, it has also ensured the erosion of imagination.
When I first told people I was writing a book, some would say that was interesting, but others thought it was some holiday project and I would lose interest. I think my parents thought the same thing, and they were surprised when I kept going. I'm not sure I thought I would keep going, but then it became a big part of my life.
My first book was signed up when I was 13, and I've been writing ever since. But penning the 'Halo' series has been so much more rewarding than I ever expected. For three years, from the age of 16 to 19, I poured my life, my experiences, and a love for the supernatural that dates back to childhood into these books.