creativity – the necessary human gift…

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One of the things that makes man so unique is his ability to create something out of anything. No animal on our planet has ever created a medium of exchange, such as money, or shopping malls to buy things that someone else designed and created, or pieces or art and poetry, or scientific discoveries, or anything else we possess. Not even clothes.

Imagination is the source of this gift of creativity. Animals operate off of instinct and training. Some can figure things out on a rudimentary level, but they have no sense or desire to bring to life that which isn’t yet made.

No dolphin trained to carry explosives by the Navy ever thought of the consequence of that act, and they certainly didn’t invent the deadly device strapped on their back. Nor can any monkey count to 10 without a scientist coaching them. No dog can figure out how to round up sheep correctly without someone teaching them the right way to do it.

Only man has that creative gift

When someone works their entire life on projects that are of someone else’s design, they lose that piece of themselves. Computers are a big part of the reason for this loss. With the advent of computers in the 1970-1980’s going mainstream as a part of company and banking industry use, the work became the same across the board. Mediocrity in production and end result became the norm. There is no longer a drafter with unique handwriting skills displayed. No longer do bank clerks show their beautiful penmanship in entering accounts. Nor is clothing that is sold to the public no longer is made with unique designs or quality craftsmanship, except at expensive boutiques and art fairs.

Everything is being mass produced. Everything has become mundane. Even doctors and artists today use computers as their tools of the trade.

And man has begun searching for that one thing that makes him unique…that set him apart. His true purpose in life.

As long as man is locked into a system in which he sees purchases as his main reason to work, he loses himself. And he wonders at those who claim that if you do what you love, the money will follow.

My personal perspective

After quitting my job, it has taken me months to realize what was missing in my life.

The things I loved to do had no place when constantly bombarded with other people’s needs. My skillset in the industry had come to an end when I became tired of redoing work to please the few, and being shoved aside because I no longer wanted to learn things that didn’t mean anything in the long run.

I have only one life to live. And only one opportunity to make it worthwhile. When this life is over, there is no “redo”. It is done. And all the hopes and dreams I had as a child will never come to fruition because I let someone else’s desire take its place.

Suddenly, the clouds began to clear. What was I forgetting to do? What did I really love to do when I was younger?

Paint. And write. I loved to be given a subject to write about and be let loose to write my version of that story. I loved to paint what I saw. And I loved to make fun of life through cartooning.

While the cartooning hasn’t come back yet, the other two have. Just stepping out and writing this blog with no direction on how it would look was the first measure to open up that door of creativity.

And it feels freeing.

Free beyond the algorithms

All the computer algorithms mean nothing to me. I will not be tied to someone’s idea of what is “acceptable” or “sellable” to anyone again.

Just to be free to do what I did as a child is enough.

A human being is meant to create. He is meant to be free to do what he is designed to do. That doesn’t mean he is to work in a cubicle all day and become someone else’s machine. We are not meant to follow the crowds all day. We are meant to follow our own path.

Today, plan to set aside time – a LOT of time – to just sit and remember. What was it you were good at? What did you enjoy as a child? Not what you thought you wanted to do or be, but what you enjoyed doing. What made you unique?

You’d be surprised at what you find.

I thought I wanted to be a computer programmer when I was a teenager. I’d studied up on what IBM had come up with, and was excited to show off my knowledge to anyone who would listen. I took a course in computer programming and operations with Control Data back in the day. It was exciting. It was new technology. And it was simple. I aced it.

But as time went on, it quickly became more and more complex. And the market is saturated with people who do that work, even though they don’t like it, because it is easy money.

The end goal

But if that is the end goal, what is the purpose of their life? It is only to become a number in a large corporation (where the good paying jobs typically are) so they can have nice stuff. Or pay their mortgage. Perhaps to send money home to help their families. Or…

One man told me that his wife was working because he “didn’t want to support any freeloader”. So the idea of motherhood has gone by the wayside as well. The position of taking care of the home is now kicked to the wayside, and money has become the more important factor in the relationship.

The children grow up and leave home. Time to spend with them is squandered on time spent driving them to activities. Meals come from a box or fast food restaurants. Food, creatively made and lovingly served, is replaced by pizza and soda. One child I knew had cold cereal for dinner because mom was too busy to provide good food.

The family unit often isn’t strong because of this routine. Mom and dad work long hours to pay for a nice house, nice clothes, sports activities, etc. But the time lost as a family, the time to spend with each other and get to know each other, is gone.

Important things to consider

But what really is important? Is family truly important? It is the first community you will ever encounter. If it is split into factions where others have been invited in to teach and raise the children as with daycare and public schools, then what becomes of that bond? The parents relinquish their obligations to teach and raise their children to others. Children are raised by strangers whose values may or may not be consistent with their own. The kids are shuffled to activities and given cell phones and technology at younger and younger ages to distract them so mom and dad can have time to themselves…on their own devices.

We went to a restaurant one day and noticed a family sitting next to us. None of them talked. None of them interacted. They all were glued to their devices, distracting themselves from what was going on around them.

A young girl was running one day, plugged into her audio player. A guy came up behind her and tweaked her ponytail just to see if she was paying attention. She didn’t even notice.


Distractions used to be giving kids pencils, paper, crayons, scissors, clay, finger paints, outside activities such as stickball (predecessor to baseball), chasing each other playing tag, jumprope, reading, climbing trees…interacting with each other and doing creative things.

Now in schools, recess isn’t a “necessity”. Listening to classical music, musical form, function and instruments isn’t taught, and learning about art isn’t taught. Home economics and managing money isn’t taught.

All these things have been replaced by computer tech courses, sex education, drug education (neither of which touch on morality and propriety that keeps kids within safe boundaries and relationships), learning STEAM and STEM programs, etc. They are taught to be good worker bees. Some will go on to become good architects of the technology. But the majority grow up to be unhappy humans because that part of who they are – or were – supposed to be is lost.

And the industry that caters to “finding your purpose in life” has gone gangbusters.

And no one is connecting the dots.

The rebels

Well, not “no one”. The few who have broken away and become happy in a life with less distractions and less “stuff” have become a curiosity.

“How did they do that?”

“It’s impossible. I can’t do that.”

“Not me! I can’t give up my stuff.”

“How would I feed myself let alone a family?”

“I wish I could do that, but I don’t know how. I don’t like what they are doing, but I like the fact that they did it.”

“What is my purpose? They found theirs, but I don’t have that kind of ability to gain that freedom. I guess I’ll just be stuck doing what I am doing until I can retire.”

To be fully human, you need to be free. Free to make choices about yourself. All of yourself. And you need regain that creativity that has been taken away from you, by your choices, or by others who taught you that this part of you wasn’t important.

Moving beyond the limits

Put away the technologies. Lock them up in a safe at a friend’s house if you can’t break away from it’s addictive power.

Save up enough money to take a month or three off. One guy I knew saved up for a year. Then he walked the beaches in South America, leaving everything behind, to find out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

And you save money by spending far less than you bring in. Do you really need that new piece or clothing or shoes? Do you need to have a new computer, upgrade your cell phone that still works, or latest and greatest device on the market?

Turn off the media and television/ROKU/movies/videos on YouTube. Remove all outside distractions. Reset yourself in the quietness of the moment. Be by yourself. You’ll never hear your inner voice if you don’t let go of everything outside of yourself.

Stop listening to what everyone else is telling you to believe. Find out what, deep inside yourself, you truly believe. If it isn’t enough, seek Truth. When you want to find out what is missing inside you once all distractions are taken away, you will find it. It is a promise. But you have to be willing to take the time to remove yourself from everything else.

Remember your past

And remember what you enjoyed doing as a child. Was it drawing? Was it horseback riding? What is writing? Was it making jewelry out of scrap wire? Was it whittling figures out of wood? What was it?

Then do it. You’ll suck at it at first. We all do. But you’ll find satisfaction in just doing it. And, in time, you’ll regain what you’ve lost in your life.

Stop procrastinating. Stop making excuses for not finding your North Star. No one else will find it for you. They are too busy either being distracted, unhappy, concerned with themselves, or not caring.

No one will give you that direction. That direction is already inside you. You just need to let go of everything the world is pushing on you, and find what you’ve been shutting down. It’s that still small voice inside of you that is telling you what you need to know.

So stop trying to “fit in” or be the same as everyone else.

You are unique. And you matter. So does what you can give to the world. And that is your ability to create things that are unique. It is what you aren’t doing that affects the world more than what you are doing. And what you aren’t doing is recognizing what you are designed to be.

So go for it. You are worth it. And so is your contribution to the rest of humanity.

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