I was talking to my Dad the other night about this exact subject, and felt that it was relevant to talk about it here as well. There is so much that I could say about on this subject, but I’ll keep it short.
My siblings and I were lucky enough in our childhood to be raised by parents who celebrated creativity. Every creative endeavour that we undertook was nurtured, grown, and raised to maturity by us and our parents. We are incredibly lucky. Our parents told us that we could do absolutely anything in the world that we wanted, and that it was up to us to make that happen. They never dreamt of us being ‘realistic’ and becoming an accountant, lawyer, or doctor. No, they encouraged us to ask the questions, to think right outside of every realm, and they knew that we would choose the right things that made us happy.
Each one of us is now working in our own creative endeavours. My brother is an organic gardener, and builds sustainable housing. My sister is at Art School, creating her life away. And I have done the whole design thing, the painting thing, and music in the past … and I now sit here tapping away on my computer dreaming up new worlds to mentally play in – 90 odd thousand words at a time.
I am one of those people who believe that every human being is born with an artist inside each of us. I think that this is because of the learning and development that our brains undergo as we grow.
I have met some truly incredible people through creativity. Some are from my tertiary education days, and are still in my life now. But even more so, I continue to meet these creative people. Do creative people recognise other creative types and draw them to themselves? I think that they probably do. This simple act of surrounding yourself with like-minded people nurtures your creative soul. I talk to other creative people about things that they are working on, their thoughts and opinions on different things, and just life in general – every single day. No, I am not kidding. This is because I no longer have my parents to help nurture my creativity every day. Now I have people surrounding me that help me with that, on a day to day basis – just as I help them. And the foundations of our friendships – apart from the creativity we share are: encouragement, love, laughter, celebration, and being who we are.
There are those people who profess to not have a creative bone in their body. But if that really is the case, then how do they ever think outside the square, or how do they come up with solution focussed ideas that they supposedly use in their corporate worlds.
Creative people don’t see the world as a black and white object. They see world in swirling shades of grey. They see colour. And they use those variations in their everyday lives to nurture their creativity. They ask the questions like: “Why does it only have to be black and white?” “Why do I have to do it this way?” and finally, they ask the question, “Why not?” (Oooh, I think Edward De Bono would probably be quite proud of me right now!)
This is a really interesting presentation by Sir Ken Robinson. He said something that really rang true in me:
“We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it, or rather we are educated out of it.”
I thought that this message is something that everyone needs to hear – regardless of if they are a creative or not.
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Great post. I think it’s important for parents to encourage children to find their strengths and pursue them.
Also, I love that TED Talk. Great stuff.
Thank you Albert! Also – welcome to Parchment Place.
Children are amazing when it comes to thinking and action. They dream of castles in the sand dunes, and the next thing you know – they are building them with their bare hands. There are no limits except what adults place upon them.
Thanks, Leigh! I was privileged to have parents who never said “no” or stifled my creativity either and who celebrate with me when I succeed in reaching the goals in my life. I do believe that schools squash out much creativity, but that’s because it’s easier to deal with kids when they’re all the same (speaking as the horrified substitute that I have been in the past…these kids cannot think for themselves one iota). Keep up the great work and keep pursuing your dreams. They are what make life wonderful, worth living.
They might be easier to deal with, but it’s sad for these children. Having a mind of your own (like we do) is a way to step away from the pack and reach your dreams – no matter what they are. Isn’t it wonderful being a child of people who never hinder your creative endeavours!?
How coincidental that you should be talking about creativity and Sir Ken when I get an email last night inviting me to a webinar by Sir Ken about his book “Out of our Minds: Learning to be Creative” today.
I agree that schools squash creativity, but, giving them the benefit of the doubt, up until now it’s been about tests and standardisation and conformity. There’s nothing wrong with that necessarily, if you look at typical asian countries where the societal emphasis is on the collective. What they do have there though is the undeniable belief and support of parents to achieve their best, whether in tests or creatively. Generally speaking, it seems we, in a typical Western society, lack both the community support and the encouragement to dream.
Hopefully where I work, while not nurturing my own creativity, we’re developing ways to transform learning to enable children to retain their own creativity. Fingers crossed we can make a difference…
I think that’s a great thing to do! Make a difference – and embrace. Who knows what those children will come up with in the future. I agree with your observation about the western culture of education and alignment.
You should definitely watch the webinar with Sir Ken. He is an amazing speaker, and encourages everyone to open theirs mind to new and wonderful possibilities.
Great post, it gave me goose bumps.
Oh, Wow! Thank you Elizabeth! What a coincidence today for us. I was actually reading your blog this morning, and flicked it out to my critique partners for them to read. I really loved your post on the Courage to Create!
Hope all is well, and it’s lovely to see you hanging out at Parchment Place!