I asked Molly if she’d consider drawing illustration for some of my writing projects.
“It’s not like I can just sit down and write something,” she said adding, “it takes times to be creative.”
Ah, I love it when my 14-year-old is such a sage.
It DOES take time to be creative. Perhaps you’ve heard the story (fable?) of how Bill Gates’ mom looked in on him just sitting on his bed apparently idle. “What are you doing?” she asked. His reply…”Thinking mom. I’m thinking.”
For kids in school, this apparent waste of time is a punishable offense and is often dealt by busy work. I remember back to my own teaching days; idleness was not to be tolerated. My admonitions still ring in my ears, “There’s ALWAYS something to do! Don’t waste time! Get busy!”
Schools give lip service to creativity. But really now, how on earth can creativity be cultivated in an atmosphere that validates only the busy and those successful at working the system?
I could go on about how the arts and music are being cut due to budget constraints but the problem goes much deeper than that. Creativity has infinite applications. And creativity can’t be rushed. From traditional arts to science to human relations. There is a creative genius in people that mostly remains untapped.
No, schools are a place where creativity is killed. Not intentionally perhaps. And it’s certainly not anything a good teacher would set out to do.
But it’s in the nature of the beast of our school systems to do so.
Give your child time to think and dream. “Wasting” time may end up being the most fruitful part of their day. And it may even bring solutions to some of the world’s problems.