It is often wondered that how are creative geniuses born. Or rather, are they born creative or they inculcate it with time? This makes it interesting for many of us to look into their backgrounds. How much of a difference did their childhood make to their lives? Did their home atmosphere or the public school system encourage them or demotivate them enough? These questions make for a compelling case on creativity.
Creativity isn’t necessarily about great, big ideas. That’s the first myth which we need to get rid of. It could also be about the smallest, ordinary things done differently. If you observe small children, the first glimpse of their creative side can be seen in the enthusiasm with which they walk, jump, play with toys or bat and ball. When such carefree attitude is married to it, that child becomes attuned to expressing themselves later in life much faster and think on their own without stress.
Little do they realize that preparations have already started at home to send them to the cauldron called school. Parents set their own roles in the belief that they are giving their children the ‘best education’ available for their sake. So the father goes out and puts himself under the pump to earn and run a house. While the mother sits back at home or in many cases, also work so that money is never an issue to run the family.
The irony is that the child as it is would begin to feel neglected as it grows older. The home atmosphere, especially with modern-day housing with nannies rather than grandparents being there, fosters a mundane sort of lifestyle rather than a learning environment. The child is burdened to mechanically finish his or her homework, go for tuitions or classes which don’t nurture their mind, play only for a small period of time, eat and sleep early.
All that parents can do is to give their children those material gifts which make them feel loved as well and they can be busy with in their absence. A double edged sword indeed! For creativity, human interaction in the early stages of life where positivity and fun is encouraged, matters the most.
It is because values are an integral part of this exercise. As children, our personality is shaped dramatically by the values we imbibe from our elders. Children from the previous generations used to hear stories from their grandmothers or grandfathers which were fables or even real life for that matter. These stick to the mind so easily because they were enjoyable to hear and something could be learnt from it. Gosh how lucky they were!
Those values goes on to form their destiny in adulthood and they become their best, successful selves at a much earlier age than expected. Honesty, effort, kind-heartedness, determination, humility are examples of those qualities that every true creative person must possess. It is not that they need to strive to get those to please people, it automatically reflects in their work and approach towards other aspects in life.
Instead of leading by example yet letting their children act naturally, parents can tend to put pressure on them in the belief that pushing them will make them excel in life. Comparisons, shoutings, material bribes, judging them by academic performances are major no-nos in the making of a happy, authentic person. If the child has a weakness, it has got to be dealt with patience and going into the root of the problem. We treat our pets with affection always, why not our children?
If a child is subjected to a result-oriented approach at home itself, outside home he is bound to become insecure, risk-averse, competitive and wanting to have his or her way all the time. Pressure can be dangerous at an early age, which explains so many crimes and inexplicable activities in schools. It is a rare parent that wants to make their child discover themselves and let them fail many times, as long as it helps their loved one determine what they wish to become and have fun while going through the ups and downs of life.
Another rarity is a person becoming more creative after adulthood. It can only occur with more freedom. Instead, our learning capacity tends to reduce with age, apart from the fact that we are burdened with more responsibilities. Paying the bills become a priority. To run a home, ironically!
Whichever career chosen, one cannot expect to have that satisfaction with money alone in even the most palatial of houses if they can’t or are scared to think differently just because of society, parents and so on.
Reinventing ourselves each day matters tremendously, while being our authentic selves at the same time. Appreciation of even the smallest of creative acts, irrespective of the reward it gives, can take children a long way. And that is the greatest gift we as adults, can give to our future generations.