Being of an artsy nature, I pay a lot of attention to the creativity of humans in this world. Interestingly, creativity seems to be a source of contention and point of division in our species. I believe this is because some people have a terrible misconception about creativity. They believe that it is an “us and them” situation as if not all humans possess the ability. Some poor souls are even under the incredibly mistaken impression that creativity is a frivolous quality and that those who are cursed with it are simply dreamers.
While there are a few less motivated apples in the barrel of humanity, I can assure you that every person on this big blue marble we call home is beautifully and vitally creative. I can also promise you that creativity is arguably one of the most important qualities that humans possess. Do I detect the rolling eyes out doubt our there? Let me share a few things that should change your mind.
You would not believe how many times I hear someone say that they just aren’t creative. Usually there is an air of sadness and a hint of longing in their voice. It breaks my heart, but I understand the problem. They look at Michelangelo or read C.S. Lewis or listen to Mozart and because they cannot produce the same results in those areas, they believe that they lack creativity altogether. In reality, those examples excelled in their particular art form but that doesn’t mean that the rest of us should consider ourselves deprived. Mozart would most likely have made a lousy country music singer. Michelangelo could not have created that gorgeous, hand drawn thank you note that holds a place of honor on your desk. C.S. Lewis never got the joy of making up a silly story to entertain your child while on a long car trip. Maybe fine art, literature and music aren’t your thing. Maybe your creativity won’t reach as large of an audience. That doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
Creativity is, at its heart, just the act of making something new out of what you have. If your recipe for meatloaf leaves your friends begging for your secret ingredient or you have ever used the contents of your junk drawer to solve the problem of a lost screw, you have been creative. DON’T PANIC! Creativity is a good thing. Also, don’t mourn the fact that you are not at some other person’s level in any particular creative area. If we were all creative in the same way and at the same level the world would be an awfully boring place filled with all the same things. Nothing new and different would ever happen.
Speaking of the ways people are creative, I have to laugh at those who believe that creativity is an indulgence. Maybe you CAN live without the finer arts – although, what a sad world that would be – but creativity and artistic talents are not the same thing at all. Without creativity our ancestors would never have mastered hunting and growing crops. From sharp sticks to arrowheads; from gathering wild seed to cross pollinating to create corn; every act that has taken place in human history has involved the use of creativity in some form or other. The same outside-the-box thinking that urged one human mind to write epic poetry prompted another human mind to build indoor plumbing. The results may look different, but the starting point is the same: Someone saw a need to make something that was not there before… and then found a way to do it.
So, next time you encounter a problem, see it as an opportunity to exercise your creativity. Take a moment to find an unusual solution that could prove to be a better way that will add something positive to the world.
Being a homeschooling parent for 13 years and an independent author/illustrator makes a person learn quite a bit about a lot of things. Now it's time to pass it on!