Calling on the creatives.
We are all naturally born to be creative, yet somewhere throughout our childhood we lose the confidence in our creativity.
When I ask a group of adults if they think they are creative, I get about less than half the group to raise their hands. And when they do raise their hand, it’s mostly with little confidence. If I ask a group of children under the age of 3, I will most likely get the whole class to raise their hand. I have noticed throughout my teaching experience that somewhere around Third grade children start to lose their confidence in the fact that we are all creative. They do not lose creativity, but rather they lose the confidence in their creativity. I wonder why when we are made to be creative beings, do we lose confidence in the very nature of our humanness?
This question is at the heart of my teaching philosophy. It is what drives my passion to promote and foster creativity in all people. It is what I believe is at the very heart of our existence and not just for the artist, but for all people.
In the beginning…
These words meet me at the very heart of my spirit. I understand this as my first language with my Creator.
Creativity has been a dialogue of unending call and response since I was a child. Creativity can be seen in all walks of life but we find it most prevalent with the Artist as well as with the Child. As a teacher I have never had to teach a child to be creative. I have however, had to support a child in their creativity. I have found this both in my own children as well as the children I have worked with.
From third grade and on, children will start to ask for a ruler to make straight lines, or they will take several minutes to get started. They start to look for the right answer, and the one right way to get the finished product. They will start to ask for my examples to copy instead of coming with their own idea. For many teachers this is celebrated as the terms of following directions. The children who follow the directions tend to get the most rewards verbal or otherwise, while the creative children tend to get shunned. Yet, creativity is a mechanism for solving problems, it’s seeing things in a new way, with a new perspective, from a different angle. Real learning comes from trying something new, making mistakes and then trying it again. It’s in the process that we learn. This expectation “to please,” is what is conditioning the confidence in our creativity out of us. When we only value the product over the process, we lose our creativity confidence. And this perpetual pattern is what makes us perpetual consumers. With true Creativity, the reward is the process. Creativity is proving to be important and essential in today’s society.
Creativity is a god-given gift to us all. Much like a muscle in the body, Creativity needs the daily workout and regimens in order for it to continue to flow. Like an athlete needing the exercise and practice, the more you use creativity in your daily life, the more you will receive.
I believe now, more than ever, we need the creative, thoughtful, caring, critical thinkers and doers to stand and lead the way. We need the imagination of the child, both in spirit and in age, to respond to the call, both in our heavens and on our Earth. We need to understand that the real answers to life are in fact, the Questions we bravely ask. And when we bravely ask the questions, this leads us to wonder. Wonder is the real connection between us and our maker. And this is where we find Hope, a hope that we can believe in and courageously work for.
So Yes! You are creative. You are being called. All humans carry this possibility.
How do we start and where do we begin?
In the beginning…