Archive for the ‘Creative Something’ Tag

The courage to change

I was thrilled last week to receive notice that I’d actually won a contest (maybe the first time in my life)!  Tanner Christensen, with the Creative Something blog offered a random prize drawing, and lo and behold, he drew my name.  So now I am the proud owner of Thomas Friedman’s new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded.  If it’s anything like The World is Flat, I’m assured of an inspiring read.

We have a new mandate: we must learn to live together in health and peace on a planet with limited resources.  We must lose our perception of ‘us and them’ and assume a new outlook of ‘us and eternity.’  The enemy is not the other guy; the enemy is our own ignorance and lack of imagination.

A few things perceived over the weekend may help to illustrate.  We prepped the herb garden by spreading the soil with newsprint.  This involved going to the recycling center and scoring huge piles of the stuff.  Most of what I scarfed was that very day’s edition, and most of it was glossy ad inserts.  Within the past 24 hours, news happened, reporters wrote it up, designers created splashy ads, editors revised, printers sweated out the production, distributors scurried all over plastering the environs, and then vast amounts of the product were summarily dumped. 

This syndrome occurs daily all over the world.  We can’t seem to reduce the waste, simply because the newspaper industry machine is so huge, we’re afraid of stopping it.  Change is all very well as long as we have decades to accomplish it.  Don’t ask us to take our knowledge and actually apply it right away; we’re too lazy, or scared, or dependent on our habits.  We think ‘we need the eggs,’ as Woody Allen so marvelously put it.

But I also read in the past couple days about two individuals whose change is brave and phenomenal.  Anne Rice has found Jesus, and Joaquin Phoenix is quitting the movies.  The queen of the vampires and the king of Hollywood lovers do about faces.  Their courage in aligning with the urges of their hearts, even though it may work against all the world’s demands, is exemplary and a positive lesson for us all.  Anything is possible, and to perpetuate waste and destruction because we fear change is unworthy of our gifts as sentient beings.

Roots of passion

All this talk about passion, and fascination, and personal branding. The wonderful folks at Creative Something recently quoted Ze Frank as saying creativity is “…having the energy to stay interested and the energy to spark interest in things.” What energy? What interest? Where do these things come from if they don’t seem to be on hand? You understand the logic of all the talk about finding your passion, but there’s just one small problem: while you believe that energy, interest, passion, and creativity are all useful, you have no idea where to find those things.

It’s like when you’re feeling bad and someone says “Get over it.” That doesn’t help, because if you could get over it you wouldn’t be feeling bad. Somebody saying “Be creative,” or “Find your passion,” or “Articulate your brand” is just as unhelpful.

We’re simply out of practice. Most of us work, and then decompress with the tv, sleep, and then start all over again. On the weekends, we do chores or spectator sports. There’s no time for self-scrutiny.

Until recently, there were no obvious rewards in a personal vision quest: the industrial world needs workers, not seekers. But the complexities we currently face require a new kind of self-responsibility, since individuals can easily perceive their connections to all of humanity. If my world unfolds within the confines of the local geographic area only, I am aware of and bear responsibility towards far fewer people than if my consciousness ranges the entire globe.

This broadened awareness brings with it a new requirement for survival, and that is sustainability, in all its multiple levels and meanings. And, ladies and gentlemen, sustainability is not achieved without passion.

So we have to re-learn how to be interested, where to find fascination; we have to discover energy from somewhere, like magic; we have to allow the possibility of creativity, and send little love notes to our passion. It is there, waiting for us.