Rebecca Stead, the Newbery Award winning author of When You Reach Me, was asked at a conference I was attending what advice she had for aspiring writers. She said most of us are waiting for someone else, some expert or authority, to tell us that we are writers (or singers, painters or astronomers). Unlike Harry Potter who got a letter from Hogwarts telling him he was a wizard, most of us will never get such affirmation. It is only when we take ourselves seriously and start doing the work of writing (or singing, painting or star gazing) that we will feel the confirmations.
One of the things I love about having kids is that they do not needlessly question whether they are good at something — they are good at being!
We adults, tend to forget.
Perhaps it is a matter of practice? A child coloring or telling stories on a daily basis must feel that creating is the most natural thing; an adult busy with the worries of the world, tends to forget that often the barriers to us being co-creators are ultimately internal. Has it been 6 years since I stated “I am a musician”? If practice is what makes one a creator than I have neglected one of my callings.
Luke Slott, who is one of the most original and talented Baha’i musicians I have met posted this sweet message for Father’s Day:
I remember my first music lesson with my Dad. He asked me to imagine how the world would be if there were no music – no songs on the radio, no orchestras in the concert halls, no birds singing in the trees, no people whistling in the streets… From the beginning, he showed me the value and beauty that music gives to our world – and that made me want to be a musician. No doubt he’s up there playing trumpet with Dizzy Gillespie and the rest of them. Happy Fathers Day Dad. Thanks for teaching me the two secrets of great music: love and hard work.
Now, let’s imagine a world without creativity, a world where we only consume. It is actually not that difficult to imagine as this seems to be the driving ambition of many a powerful market forces shaping life today. Do you like that vision? No?
Then let’s resolve to do our part and co-create a beautiful world in which each one of us has a unique and important role – of being who we truly, authentically, creatively are!