My seven-year-old daughter recently made a catlike creature with golden eyes, black and white stripes and a diamond on its head.
She named it “Creamy Potato”. Our new family member had a great time over the next week and even spent some time camping on the moon. This highlights that special power children have, imagination.
Children are instinctively creative. They do it unconsciously when they are young and we love watching their willingness to sing, to dance, to draw and create, whenever and wherever they like. We are all born with an amazing creative capacity, but as get older, our willingness to use it, reduces. Instead of growing into our creativity, in effect we grow out of it, and this is driven by fear. We are all conditioned by our parents, friends, schools, universities, employers and our community, to get the right answer and follow the rules.
We learn to not disrupt, to not think differently, to not be creative and our success is based on our ability to follow the rules and pay the mortgage. I am sure as we get older, we talk ourselves out of using our imagination at home and school. We stop being creative and taking risks, and we become really scared of failure. We even judge others for trying to be creative and not conforming.
And yet, at the same time we wonder why we can’t be the next Tarantino, Springsteen, Jobs or Kubrick.
This approach does such an incredible disservice to our future. This is the age when we need creative thinking, innovation and imagination in order to meet the challenges of the world. It is certainly easy to say we all need to be creative and that as adults’ creativity can be learned and nurtured.
But fundamentally, this is not right, we really need to address how we all unlearn creativity, and this starts with our approach as a society and with our children. Being creative has to be more than an Adult colouring book!
By the way, if you are wondering about “Creamy Potato”, she has since run away to Alaska to play with her friend, but that’s ok Sparkle-Glitter-Bob has moved in.
All hail the underdogs
All hail the new kids
All hail the outlaws
Spielberg’s and Kubrick’s
It’s our time to make a move
It’s our time to make amends
It’s our time to break the rules