Friday, October 10, 2008

Today’s Lesson: Creativity Saves Lives!


In today's uncertain financial environment, unforeseen changes and disruptions in your life are inevitable. Providing for your family and your future are suddenly compromised by the activities of those at levels of income and power that have nothing to do with you or anyone you know. You often feel like you have been thrust into a den of lions and just want to scream with anxiety and disappointment. You know you can’t work any harder than you already do. You know you can’t cut back on much and if you do, you feel like the lives of your family are going to dissipate into total sadness and dullness. Your worry and sense of disappointment can be overwhelming. You believe you cannot plan for the future. You are sure your very existence is at risk!


Close your eyes for a moment and then think this: Engaging in artistic and creative activities can alleviate your anxiety and replace it with contentment and happiness. Such endeavors can help you uncover the internal strength you have been endowed with by God. Everyone is born with it. No matter how many people have told you that you are not artistic or creative, you must undo your internal belief and cast off anything that blocks you from engaging in creativity. It doesn’t matter what it is or how you try. Art saves lives! It is the core of your internal ability to deal with external stressors and unanticipated obstacles. It is the solution for success in your life regardless of your financial circumstances. It is the solution to an overall healthier family environment. It is an asset beyond education and financial security. It is the way to work and grow regardless of your resources. 


My premise begins with a simple fact that the family cultural and artistic perspectives in this country have been tarnished by excessive materialism and immediate gratification. Children no longer sit and create ducks and cats with nothing more than old pillow cases and a needle and thread. They rarely have the patience to whittle with a pen knife and piece of wood. Parents and children prefer the computer and TV to group activities that inspire one’s creative side. And yet, to ignore the gifts that every human being is born with does nothing more than extinguish the light in our souls that make life worth living and weaken our human ability to cope with stressors. Our anxiety grows and our inner strength breaks down.


When human beings engage in art, they are communicating with their internal God or their divine spirit or whatever it is that you call that internal seat of human power. When that is occurring, people are naturally allowing the higher power to control and direct their lives. And when they do that, they will surly become more compassionate, which will lead them toward becoming more principled in their nature, and ultimately make them more content and happy.


Social scientists have known this for many years. Proof can be found in the discovery of Bali, a relatively poor nation, in the early twentieth century. [From Wikipedia] “In the 1930s, anthropologist Margaret Mead and artists Covarrubias and Spies…  created a western image of Bali as "an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature", …


This does not mean that the Balinese culture was precluded from invasion, financial pressure, and the external torments that most cultures have endured. They were not a traditionally rich culture. Yet they were one of the happiest people in the world and still are. What was different was that their humanity to overcome external obstacles with a universal commitment to engage in every type of artistic endeavor and commitment to teach their skills and talents to their children. There, each and every child was and is engaged with a grandparent who passes along their own inheritance of peace and contentment. They work with the children and show them how to make masks for celebrations and parades, or how to play an instrument. They practice dancing and learn to draw pictures, or use a kiln. Every child is inspired to create.


Believe this: Every time you try to be creative, you are feeding the storehouse or internal treasures of creation inside of you and the storehouse grows. It’s like imagining a cupful of happy cells that are part of your own private treasure house, just as glittery and valuable as any pirate’s treasure waiting to be discovered. The more you take in beauty, excitement, harmony, peace, and mindfulness, the more that cup of cells grows into potential creativity—and ultimate happiness.

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