My creativity and imagination developed at an early age.
My parents encouraged and nurtured my creativity. My mother further aided it by limiting my time in front of the television.
It helped that my parents were creative people. My father enjoyed gardening and creating things. He spent most of his career years as a tool and die maker. In our basement, he crafted items out of wood: the cradle my sons used, toys to sell at the church bazaar, and upgrades to our home. My mother was an early elementary grade teacher who had also been a Girl Scout leader.
Technology didn’t get to interfere with my creativity because, well, because I grew up with the rotary phone, three television stations and a local station that played reruns, and a suit case record player that spun my 45 and 33 1/3 vinyl records.
Summers were spent reading, going to the public swimming pool, riding bikes with my neighbor friends, playing cards (Rummy and Rummy 500), playing board games, or engaging in any number of creative ideas.
For a couple of summers, when my mother and her neighbor friend held their early summer garage sale, my friends would appear and we would gather some of the clothes they had for sale and some of the other items and create skits and scenes.
I was an early musician, singing with the children’s choir at church in first grade, beginning piano lessons in third grade, and beginning violin at my elementary school in fifth grade.
I was an early story teller, creating stories with my dolls and my imaginary friends as I walked to school.
I was an early public speaker when I was given parts in the holiday (Christmas and Easter) programs at church.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO CREATIVITY & IMAGINATION?
Without the technological developments we have today, I think it was easier to develop a child’s creativity and imagination.
FOR EXAMPLE –
Today when I’m out and about, I see too many parents opting to give their restless child a game or activity loaded onto the cell phone to keep them occupied. When my kids were young, many restaurants gave them a box of crayons to use to color the place mat’s pictures or solve the place mat’s puzzles. When I was a kid, my parents had to bring something for me to do, OR they expected me to participate in the conversation.
Even technology’s adaptation of the coloring book does little to inspire the imagination: with most of them, you tap on the color and tap on the numbered space. You can’t, at least on the ones I’ve tried, choose your own colors.
Travel, even within the city or town where you live, does not force us to be creative or use our imagination. Vehicles are equipped with television screens – sometimes more than one. It stops us from being observers in our own world. And if our passengers are not focused on the auto’s television screen, they are focused on their own hand-held electronic device.
I could go on about what is stifling creativity and imagination, but really, that isn’t the important issue.
The most important issue is to allow creativity and imagination back into your life.
CREATIVITY and IMAGINATION BREAK OUT OF JAIL
Lately, I feel like my creativity and imagination have been in jail, OR AT LEAST they have been on a 10-11 month hiatus. It really doesn’t matter why. It matters that I allowed life AND technology to attempt to snuff out my creativity and my imagination.
It hit me the other night that I was letting electronics waste my time. AGAIN. It happens every so often when life’s struggles seem to overwhelm me and take over my day.
It feels like reality takes my creativity and imagination and locks the two in a kind of procrastination and vegetation jail. I come home, overwhelmed, and pick up my phone and start a game. After all, I only have 30 minutes before the timer goes off and dinner is done. Dinner is over but there is still 10 minutes left of the show I was watching with dinner. Why not veg out on the game again. Ten minutes turns to 40, and 40 to 60.
What? What just happened to that last hour?
In order to let my creativity and imagination thrive once again, I need to do the following
*Limit my electronic game time (Or I might need more drastic measures – delete ALL the games and activities.)
*Set aside a short period of time to actually do something creative.
*Lengthen that period of time daily or weekly, but make sure to do something creative with my imagination each and every day.