“Necessity is the mother of invention.” —Unknown
My list of things that spur our creativity is based on my experience and observations.
I think the necessity in today’s quote is twofold. First, if people have a need, they’ll get creative to fill it. For example, Apollo 13’s malfunctions and NASA’s creative solutions.
Second, I think many of us “need” to use our creative juices. Even without outer needs to stimulate us, we thrive on creativity. It energizes us, provides us a tool to understand life events, and gives us a means to express feelings.
For example, I learn best through application, so I practice the technique of writing internal stories to explain ideas to myself. In another post, I mentioned I created short stories to explain Biblical teachings to myself.
A cartoon my mother posted in her art studio showed a disappointed artist appraising his painting. The caption said, “I haven’t suffered enough.”
Suffering can turn us to creativity. Creative endeavors can provide victims safe ways to deal with past abuses. Therapists have encouraged children to draw pictures after traumatic events.
I think, in general, adversity is often a catalyst to creative expression. One man wrote a novel after his divorce. He never wrote again. We writers can tell our stories of hardships through fictional characters. We might have no control over misfortunes, but we can write stories in which perpetrators receive justice or redemption. We can write healing stories in which heroes learn to forgive.
I think those who grow up with creative parents tend to recognize how their own imaginations can be applied. It’s what their parents modeled.
For example, I grew up observing my parents’ creative efforts in everything. The times my father helped me were when the aid involved using his creativity. He wrote a skit for my junior high talent show. He helped my third grade class make papier-mâché puppets. My parents always made our costumes. My mother drew paper dolls and their outfits for my sister and me.
I didn’t imitate my parents and pursue art. But I sought creative expression that fit my needs and personality and desire to help others.
I’ve observed those of us devoted to creative expression are willing to spend much time honing our craft. Whatever is the main vehicle for our creative release (art, writing, drama, music, sculpture, solving problems), we seek a measure of excellence.
Personality also seems to spur how our creativity manifests itself. Some of us are curious introverts, researching to feed our imaginations. Others are extroverts infusing drama into our presentations. Some of us expressive types are idea machines for solving problems. Many of us use a mishmash of creative outlets.
Looking at the tiny veins under the tender skin of a newborn, I’m awed and inspired. God’s design to send lifeblood to every part of an infant’s body shows me how God considered every detail in creating us.
And what amazes me more is God’s statement that He made us in His image. He designed us to be creative like Him!
No matter what has ignited our imaginations, we can intentionally pursue our creativity to help others. Imagine the world if we did.
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