Thursday, February 3, 2011

Isn't It A Pity

I have friends who complain that they're not creative. I have friends who think they might be creative, but who complain that they just don't have enough time in the day for creativity. All of this complaining is done online, either via email or facebook... all of which makes me yell, "Bullshit!"

Everyone is creative in some way. Even monkeys and crows and otters are creative. I think some of these people feel as though they're not allowed to paint unless they create great works of art. Ridiculous. They don't write because they're "not good" at it. Ludicrous. They don't arrange flowers, or play musical instruments, or carve wood, or bake, or.... agh! do anything, because they feel it has to be genius or nothing. Absurd.

Who put it into our heads that we can't simply dabble at something without excelling at it?! Who gave us the notion that doing a thing that pleases us without an audience is a waste of time?! There was a time when people were taught to be creative, to dabble in many things. Creativity was the only entertainment before the invention of the radio. Learning about the arts was part of a well-rounded education. Sadly, none of it is seen that way now. We have any manner of electronic objects to occupy our minds and our time and to entertain us.

This leads me to the aforementioned complaint, "I don't have time in my life for creativity." No? Really? You want to go there with me, do you? How many times have I seen someone post on facebook, "I'm bored." That makes me want to grab the person by the ears and scream into their face, "Step away from the computer for fuck's sake and go DO something!" Worse yet is when they comment that they're bored and that "there's nothing good on tv." The only thing that keeps me from going completely ballistic is that I feel genuine pity for them. How sad that they have nothing in their little bag o' tricks but tv and the internet.

How very profoundly sad. Somehow, somewhere along the way, we as a society, have completely failed. We have taught our sons and daughters that it's okay if they don't ever come up with an original thought, that it's okay if they rely on outside sources for all their entertainment needs, that it's okay if they don't use their minds for anything but a 40 hour dead end work week. Quel dommage. What. A. Fucking. Pity.

But you know what? It can be reversed. We can change it. Pick a creative thing, anything. Take a tiny step toward doing it. Don't worry about it being the next great invention to come along. It probably won't be. Do it just for the sake of enjoyment. Do it just because it makes you feel happy to do it. If you find you don't like it, try something else. But, please, do something, do anything besides spending all of your waking hours in front of one screen or another. Don't you see? You are dying inside. And I am tired of mourning you.


  1. Slightly spooky you should say this today, Barb. I was involved in a discussion about what is creativity only this morning, and you've echoed a lot of the things that were said. xx

  2. Ouch. And a resounding AMEN! You should send this somewhere,, I don't know, Parents Magazine or USA Today or someone who can get the message to kids (slightly edited of course). It should then be passed around the schools.

  3. I agree Barb. I ranted about this a while back. For me creativity is not what i DO. It's who I am and how I live. It touches every aspect of my life and makes it more danceable.

  4. And yes TV and internet is like taking lots of Oxy. Exactly like it.

  5. To become an expert at something, you must do it for 10 years or 10,000 hours. To be "good" at have to do it for a WHILE and often.


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