WANTED: Creativity!

It seems these days that creativity has taken a back seat to convenience and the status quo. Maybe technology and the pace of modern life are putting a strangle hold on our creative energy. Perhaps it’s the fault of our jam-packed calendars, squeezing out inspiring opportunities. Anyway, I’ve been wondering if there is a reason to be concerned about this apparent creativity drought. If so, what can be done? For starters, we can look to our children for insight.

Young children have vivid imaginations and are naturally curious. Without the blinders that come with age, they willingly and creatively explore new things. Have you ever seen a small child wearing a big smile delivering a bouquet of dandelions? Children don’t see weeds. They see pretty yellow flowers and an extra special present for mom. This suggests that we rethink our adult belief that dandelions are pesky invaders. The fact that dandelions can be made into wine, tea, treatment for indigestion, and salads is further evidence that we adults have misjudged this special plant. Could it be that adult blinders cloud our ability to observe and think creatively? When it comes to seeing the potential in both dandelions and ideas, we should behave more like children and less like adults.

“It is better to create than to be learned, creating is the true essence of life” — Barthold Georg Niebuhr (1776-1831)

On the other hand, have you ever seen a child helping weed a garden? Evidently, they can’t tell the difference between the “good plants” and the “bad ones” because they just pull them all! Funny, this is how adults often behave, when it comes to sorting through a garden full of ideas. How many great ideas have been tossed aside because of our adult blinders?

These comparisons of children and adults remind us of the changes that occur throughout our lives and the importance perspective and creativity play in decision-making.  As for creativity, maybe the notion that it has evaporated is just a figment of my adult imagination, proving that “adult” and “imagination” are not yet mutually exclusive.

“Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality overcomes everything.” — George Lois (1931- )

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