I Want To Think We’re All The Same. What Happens If We’re Not? and #ROW80 too

To get the update out of the way, ROW80 continues to go well for me. I’m getting back into my social media stuff, and I’ve been working in the Talent Chronicles universe and getting stuff done. School started today, so after I get done staring at the wall far at least a day, I hope to embrace the new schedule and get more done than ever. But that’s not really what I want to talk about.

Here’s something that’s been rolling around in my head lately and writing here was inspired by a bit of this post by Jami Gold. She was musing on a post by Kristen Lamb in which Kristen mused: Are we born to create?

I think the default setting for humans is to assume that other people are like us. This is the basis for much misunderstanding in the world because we relate to others based on our own experience, an experience which they don’t share. And this leads to wrong thoughts about the motivations others, misunderstanding their actions or what they say, all kinds of things, because we’re not objective. We don’t automatically see all possible sides or points of view. We view the world and others from our own perspectives.

One notion I’ve had is that humans are creative. Besides that humans are fantastically capable of wondrous acts of creation, I’ve thought that everyone has a creative drive. I mean, why wouldn’t I think that? I’m surrounded by creative people all the time who share my need to make something out what seems like nothing. (As I try to write this, my daughter is creating a space opera with Roo and Buzz Lighthorse.)

Opposites may attract, but like also finds like. We dig those people who mirror us in some way, who give us a yes! to something inside us that means something to us.

So here I am, bopping through life, not giving much thought to the fact that I really believe that everyone wants to make stuff. And if you say you’re not creative, I just figure you haven’t found an outlet yet. Or you are creating and you don’t even realize it. Or something. Because everyone wants to create. Everyone needs to. Everyone I know. So it must be true.

So I read something recently that Holly Lisle wrote. I think it must have been in her motivation course. It was something about the way she tries to give back and how she felt like she needed give what she had, make it accessible to everyone. And then she realized that not everyone wants it. Not everyone wants to create. Some people go through life perfectly content to use what others have created.

Huh. Really, Holly? You think that? Well, I respect Holly and it sounded like something out of The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged, so I went to my husband with this forming epiphany. And he says,

“Really? You don’t know this?”

Now my husband is one of those people who will tell you he’s not creative. But he builds things for a living. And in everything’s he’s ever done there’s a thought process of putting things together and creating solutions whether he’s working on troubleshooting software issues or designing a staircase to fit a certain space, budget, and building code.

And then I start to wonder what happens between now and when Star Trek happens? I mean, when we reach that point in society where our basic needs are seen to by technology and we’re all free to be creative and go out and explore and shit, what are all those people who don’t have those drives going to do with themselves?

This seems like a serious problem, but my husband’s convinced they’ll all be happy to occupy themselves on Facebook all day.

Thoughts?

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “I Want To Think We’re All The Same. What Happens If We’re Not? and #ROW80 too

  1. Hi Susan,

    Interesting post. I wonder if people simply lack creativity in defining “creative.”

    I also believe everyone is creative, at least to the point where they have an idea. Beyond that, many people will come up with (Juan) Epsteinesque excuses as to why they’re not doing anything with their ideas. I wonder if many of those self-described non-creative people believe it because they never finished their projects.

    -Jay
    @techsurgeons

  2. “they’ll all be happy to occupy themselves on Facebook all day.”

    LOL! I think you just identified a missing sign of the apocalypse. 🙂

    Seriously though, I wonder the same thing. I guess it depends on how we – or they – define creativity. There might be someone out there working a retail clerk job who has no drive to do anything else with their life and no interest in hobbies beyond “hanging out with friends.” That sure looks like no creative drive.

    But then if we talk to them, maybe we discover that they love their job and their friends because they like making others happy. Is creating happiness from nothing creative? Some would say yes and others no.

    And if someone like that hated their job? That’s a recipe for depression if you ask me. So count me in the “people need to create in some way – if they know what’s good for them” camp. 🙂

    Thanks for the link, Susan!

  3. Awesome and thought provoking post! I teach a writing class to freshman at a local college. I mainly teach them how to write essays and research papers but the last several semesters I have put a few creative writing exercises in the lesson plans, to change things up a little and not stress them out with research paper after research paper. It always puzzles me when I give them a short writing prompt, that some–actually many–of the students groan, roll their eyes and otherwise show their dissatisfaction with having to write creatively. It’s like the thought of them having to use their imagination is horrifying. And that reaction is always so foreign and just bizarre to me! Maybe it’s more that some people are lazy and don’t want to work their brains that hard to bring out their natural creativity, so they just ignore it, instead relying on what others do? I don’t know. But whatever it is, I don’t think I will ever be able to wrap my head around it fully.

  4. My wife constantly says, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body.” When I point out that she creates a wonderful interior and exterior for our home, she says, “Oh, but that’s not being creative. Anybody can do that stuff.” This is also a woman who owned a successful business for 12 years, and you have to be creative to run a business. I think most people associate creative with being “artsy.” In my mind being creative can have numerous outlets. My two cents.

  5. What’s interesting to me in the comments is that my creative friends mostly want to believe that everyone’s creative and it’s just a matter of definition, like I do. I’m sure there’s something to that.

    My example: in Pretty Woman, Vivian says to Edward, “You don’t make anything; you don’t build anything.” But Edward Lewis has the creativity to see potential in the parts the make up these companies, and he can see what he needs to do to put together the deals that will get him the companies and the deals to sell off the parts. But since he doesn’t have an Etsy shop, he and others might not see that as creative.

  6. kasia

    This is a matter that i agree with you on, however as you said humans create and we will never stop creating so those who are not creative will still have ideas that others have come up with and things that others have made to keep themselves ocupied if they feel no drive to make something themselves and people around them are generous enough to share with everyone what they have made/come up with then then those who will not try for themselves will have plenty to try for others.

  7. I’m not sure I believe everyone is creative. But I’ve never really thought that much about it. A couple of years ago, I would have said that my husband was not creative at all. I mean, he’s never really done anything that I would have thought of as creative. Then, suddenly, he’s spouting off these ideas of stories I should write. And they are really GOOD ideas. So, maybe some day I’ll ghost write for him. LOL

  8. Very interesting, Susan. I think about this off and on. I hadn’t considered that those who work in non-traditionally-creative fields (like your Pretty Woman example) can also be creative in the work that they do.
    It’s those Facebook hordes I wonder about. I’m always so grateful that I have a creative drive; it seems to give my days extra excitement. What do people who don’t sew/knit/scrapbook/write/build models/garden/etc/etc/ *do* with their time? Don’t they feel like they’re missing something?

  9. Pingback: Mashed Potato Monday « Kerry Meacham's Blog

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