The snow has melted but yesterday's snowmen parade is still on my mind. Creativity changes everything.
We have had a series of car break-ins in our neighborhood and a few more disturbing incidents. The neighbors have rallied and there have been no further incidents for several weeks. Community camaraderie and yesterday morning's surprise have given me renewed hope.
Yesterday's gift has prompted me to repost a section of something I wrote previously about creativity.
My most valuable aha in regard to the power of creative thinking occurred in Washington D.C. when we attended Colin Powell's celebration of the 100 Best Communities to raise young people in the country. Harrisburg, PA was proud to be included - we won twice - and the highlight of one trip was listening to the stories about other winning communities across the nation.
The one that most impressed me was a group of young people from a town in West Virginia in economic decline. Coal mining had been their main source of revenue, but it was no longer lucrative and the young people were leaving their families and friends to find work in other areas. There was a sense of hopelessness as more and more people left, having given up on revitalizing the town. Their paradigm was the only way to make a living there was through coal mining.
Could anything be done in a coal mine other than mining coal? They began to consider the characteristics of the mines and a young man in junior high discovered that the temperature in a coal mine was ideal for raising fish. A new industry was born and the town began to thrive. Families were able to stay together and the quality of life improved by quantum leaps.
We underestimate the value. Had you considered one creative thought from a middle school student could have the capacity to impact the economy of an entire town for generations to come? I hadn't, until I heard their story.
Creativity goes far beyond arts and crafts, music, and our traditional limited associations. It can change economics, improve our perceptions about the value of a community, and guide us to health focused - iinstead of illness and medical focused - lives, We can learn to see the world and ourselves differently. And through those perceptions, if we take action, even in seemingly simple ways, we can make the world a better place.
One of my favorite creative thinkers is Roger von Oech. His books have been around for decades but his suggestions have yet to be incorporated into most of our daily lives. If you haven't had the pleasure, I think you'll be delighted.
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!