You were born with the drive to grow, to create. You might have forgotten the impulse, but it is still there inside of you. As Ashley Montagu suggested in his book, Growing Young, adults learn from children about the essential nature of fun and abandon in order to prevent “psychosclerosis,” the hardening of the mind. He prescribed the following traits of the child to avoid this dreaded condition: The need for love – friendship – sensitivity – the need to think soundly – the need to know – the need to learn – the need to work – the need to organize – curiosity – a sense of wonder – playfulness – imagination – creativity – open mindedness – flexibility – experimental mindedness – resiliency – a sense of humor – joyfulness – laughter and tears – honesty and trust – optimism – compassionate intelligence – dance – and song.
How do we translate the intrinsic and valuable qualities of creativity into adulthood? How can play, imagination, curiosity, and invention be a part of every day? This quote by Gilda Radner, the comedian who died too young, is a great reminder of the importance of being you:
“While we have the gift of life, it seems to me the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die, whether it is our spirit, our creativity, or our glorious uniqueness.” I believe that we each have the individual responsibility to bring forth ourselves into the world.
Creativity helps you gain confidence, self-understanding, and self-esteem. It increases your concentration, helps you learn to take risks, and creates balance and order. You can make mistakes more freely and solve problems with increased flexibility—skills that enhance all your relationships. Creativity supports innovation, invites you to savor a moment, engages your senses, and helps you see the beauty in all things. It leads you to imagine unlimited possibilities.