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CREATIVITY. ALTHOUGH IT may come in different packages within us, we all have it. We use it every day.
Some of us are in the business of being creative, and some are creative in our business. Some of us may not even understand that we're creative. We grieve this lack, and wonder how we find that part of ourselves, or how we can awaken it. In others, creativity sparkles on their surface and resonates as the deepest part of their identities. They live and breathe it. They must create or die.
Some have outlets to the larger world in which their talents can emerge, though many don't. The Internet has helped with this, allowing us to present our digital calling cards in whatever ways we choose. But that doesn't solve the problem. Creators create for themselves and also so other people can see, read, experience, and connect with their work in some way--and be transformed by it.
I am a major proponent of recognizing and encouraging creativity, and I've run across two pieces of media that discuss aspects of this divine atttribution of ourselves--and I believe creativity is at the very essence of our true selves, our deepest me being me and you being you--that we all need to consider, individually and in a larger way.
Some of you may have watched the first one already--a short film called Influencers that discusses the result of someone's natural creativity, how their actions and style--their presence--creates a new wave of culture.
"I think an influencer has a certain confidence that probably not many people have. They know that what they're doing is the right thing, because they're comfortable in it. To me, an influencer is somebody who has a different way of thinking and a different way of expressing themselves...
"There's a group of people that are really just early adopters that really embrace all forms of culture..."
Here it is:
Another is a terrific piece called "The Crossroads Nation" by David Brooks in The New York Times.
Howard Gardner of Harvard once put together a composite picture of the extraordinarily creative person: She comes from a little place somewhat removed from the center of power and influence. As an adolescent, she feels herself outgrowing her own small circle. She moves to a metropolis and finds a group of people who share her passions and interests. She gets involved with a team to create something amazing.
Then, at some point, she finds her own problem, which is related to and yet different from the problems that concern others in her group. She breaks off and struggles and finally emerges with some new thing. She brings it back to her circle. It is tested, refined and improved.
The main point in this composite story is that creativity is not a solitary process. It happens within networks. It happens when talented people get together, when idea systems and mentalities merge.
There are a number of definitions of creativity. But one thing is sure, and that is beautifully said by Maya Angelou...
"You cannot use up creativity. The more you use the more you have."
I wish you all creative days!
--Beth Arnold in Paris