You may have noticed that “Featured Book” in my blog’s sidebar announces my new book of arts and crafts. It’s a resource book especially for religion teachers, but any teacher (or parent) will find it useful. The book has led me to think about what it means to create. Echoing my thoughts, the other night in a commercial the fashion designer Ralph Lauren said that creating something brings great satisfaction. Using our brains, our imaginations and skills, to produce something new is exhilarating and makes us proud of ourselves.
A priest once told how he was corralled into teaching a class of little ones. To teach the concept of love, he had the children create something, I believe out of clay. When they were finished, he told the children to give their artwork to another child in the class. Bedlam broke out. The children refused to give up their masterpieces. Some were crying. Their creations were too precious to them to part with.
I just submitted my novel to a contest. Even if it doesn’t win, even if it is never published, writing the book was worthwhile. It was a source of great joy. Besides a book, what else can we create? A new recipe, a painting, an afghan, an invention, a dance, a song. Julius Caesar supposedly said, “It is better to create than to learn! Creating is the essence of life.” When we create, we tap into our powers and express ourselves. What’s more, our creation may inspire and help our neighbor. Think of the awe and pleasure that Michelangelo’s art or Beethoven’s symphonies evoke, or the way Edison’s light bulb jump-started the progress of the human race. But we needn’t be a genius to create. All it takes is gumption, discipline, and an idea.
When we create something, we continue the act of creation begun by the master Creator.
What new creation can you undertake this week?
Have you ever created something that surprised you?
Who or what has stimulated you to be creative?