You watch kids and evidently they don’t know everything but also they don’t know that they don’t. All they know is that all the answers to the world can always be found by asking. That an empty space can always be filled by trying. That the worst that can happen by speaking aloud is well, often not a very bad thing at all.
I think for a while we all believe that in a world that is only as high as the roof of the sky, there really is a way we can know everything.
And you watch kids and they laugh and they tell stories and they make things up. They embellish and use their imagination to full in the gaps of what they can’t remember. They can tell you everything there is to know, not all of it accurate maybe, but all of it genuine and thoughtful. It’s not the truth but that doesn’t mean it’s not real.
Do you remember feeling like smartest person in the whole world just because you knew how to think? You were an artist that could make the sky and sea look different when you had to draw them on the same page. You were an explorer who knew where the fairies lived in your garden. You were a CEO who had created the coolest club in school for your friends to be in. Do you remember when you were creative and excited and brave?
And I guess when we get older the stakes get higher and the world gets bigger.
It’s pretty hard to find a way to explain illness, or religion, or poverty, or love. Especially when people’s lives are on the line. There are things we need to know. We need to understand why it rains, that nature is responsible for the pigment of our skin, basic multiplication. To understand equality, to understand our own ability, to grow and to help we have to learn the same truth as everyone else. That’s the only way we can co-exist in this world that we share.
But its a shame right? It’s a shame because we often teach kids that creativity and being wrong are the same. That asking a question is not worth the embarrassment of admitting that you don’t know the answer. We are constantly taught that jumping is not worth the risk of a bad landing – but no one ever mentions the possibility of flying. Surely flying is worth the risk?
But no one ever talks about that. We take creativity and we put it over there, somewhere else, away from ourselves. We talk about health and practicality and measureable success. As if creativity is not necessary or desirable, or worse, as if its impossible. And I want to scream at us all. I want to scream at us to remember. Remember that feeling of being so brave and so excited – and then look! Look at the way your mouth still curls into a smile as we drive past the ocean. Look at the way your mind stretches when someone gives you’re a problem that you don’t know how to solve. Look at how your fingers reach for that guitar, even though you have no idea how to play.
The way you see your world is so different to the way I see mine because while there is certainty there are also gaps. Because it’s pretty hard to explain illness and religion, and poverty and love. And we fill these gaps with the things we think we know. Things we are genuine and thoughtful about. Perhaps not the truth- but still real.
So please do not tell me you are not creative. Don’t shy away from the word like you’re afraid or offended.
There are so many gaps that will only be filled when we stop being scared to try. Things we can only fix when we’re not scared to share. Maybe this spring, that’s the kind of bravery we all need to let grow a little more.
Happy September, see you soon x