“The world is but a canvas to the imagination.”—Henry David Thoreau
Imagination springs from nowhere and brings something new to the world—games, art, inventions, stories, solutions. Childhood is particularly identified with this state, perhaps because creativity in adults is considered to be a trait possessed only by the artistic few.
Nurturing creativity in all its forms recognizes that humans are by nature generative beings. We need to create. The best approach may be to get out of one another’s way and welcome creativity as a life force.
If we are familiar with the process that takes us from vision to expression, we have the tools to use creativity throughout our lives. When we welcome the exuberance young children demonstrate as they dance around the room, talk to invisible friends, sing in the bathtub, and play made-up games we validate the importance of imagination.
When we encourage teens to leave room in their schedules for music or game design or skateboarding or whatever calls to them, we honor their need for self-expression. Young people who are comfortable with creativity can apply the same innovative mindset to their adult lives.
Creativity is necessary when dealing with an architectural dilemma, new recipe, marketing campaign, environmental solution, or personal relationship. In fact, it’s essential.
Imagination and inspiration have fueled human progress throughout time. Creative powers have brought us marvels and continue to expand the boundaries. The energy underlying the creative act is life-sustaining and honors the work of others.
But there’s a caveat. Creativity isn’t always positive, visionaries aren’t always compassionate, and progress isn’t always beneficial. After all, a clever mind is required to craft a conspiracy as well as to negotiate a peace accord.
Creativity is a life force when it arises as a healing impulse, as a truth-telling impulse, as an impulse to approach mystery.
Tomorrow’s possibilities call out to our inventive, imaginative selves. Let’s answer.