When the subject of creativity is brought up, what comes to mind? When someone invites you to create, what’s your initial reaction? I want to share my story of stepping through the hindrances that stopped my creative development. It’s a story of being accused of not being creative/gifted by a teacher that led to a block I had to break. In a future blog share some advice I have on overcoming accusations and hindrances that block our creative growth.
It was fifth grade I was in music class and the teacher stopped the class and had students start to sing individually in front of everyone, it wasn’t a test, it was to prove a point. “Jimmy” she calls me out (following a gifted singer), “sing” (in front of everyone?!). Insert snickers from the girls, and nerves to make anyone sing terribly. I sang. I was alright, really nervous, and not noticeably talented…yet. She tells me I’m just mouthing the words, just talking fast and not really singing and some other things not remembered but I tried my best, there was hope right? It was the in air of her superior tone, inflicting me as a young man, emasculating to the point of walking away from all music forever (a bit dramatic but none the less real.
There is hope now but a lot has past from that event till now. I wonder what could have been avoided and what potential could I have been ushered into.
Unfortunately this is uncommon in our education circles, creative (even athletic, and other) talents are cut off from the future of most of us by the stymie of something I think bigger than a teachers words. It’s the structure and principles our culture lives in, it’s a invisible thief of life, it’s the need of perfection.
We select the obviously talented at a young, unripe, at a premature age and coach and teach, and caress their gifting…the rest of us…we’ll find other things to do in life right?…on our own?…as teenagers or elementary students?!
After that shaming event it’s not a coincidence that I’m a creator, artist and entrepreneur for a living. Why? What I learned is were the accusations hit is were we have a high calling and creative design. It is our destiny in a sense to overcome adversity and shine.
Teachers a word with you, “You hold the holy creative future of your students in your hands. Don’t crush us, help us discover, and develop our creativity. We all have natural strengths and weakness’s.”
Some of our strengths are only to help bridge us to those wild dreams of being creative in the areas we are weak at. We don’t need to be fenced in by our creative strengths. They should be our launching pad into more when we find them!
Let’s look back at that event in the music class. What if instead of stating, “Your just talking fast” she would of helped me discover the fast talking rhythms and rhymes of slam and beat poetry? Or what if she would helped me develop the weakness in tone and pitch? Why do we (as a culture, at least in north america) just want to be reporters when we can declare a future and potential in people that far exceeds their dreams. That could of been a wild day! It wasn’t but I see the truth now. I am creative, I do have a voice and I am growing!
What I learned is that when we exploit weakness’s from a negative view point we create an illusion, a impenetrable castle wall for others. When in doubt of another’s ability encourage them. Also when our eyes are focused on what isn’t manifest in someones ability (creativity) we miss the dormant shining gifts, strengths and possibilities in them.
How did I start walking in FREEDOM? What does it look like for you to walk in freedom? Read this Blog! (link coming soon)
[image from: http://livetowrite1.blogspot.com/2011/06/voice.html]