Monday, September 27, 2010
I think children possess a natural creative inclination. From the time they are toddlers, they create. They create new words, new toys, new ideas and ways of doing things, not to mention new ways of doing art. My daughters are the most creatively talented people I know. Unfortunately, I worry every day that this creativity is going to be "beaten out of them." Our society pushes perfection. Their school rewards the "correct" answer, not the most insightful, inquisitive, creative answer. As they get older, they are pushed to spend their time studying, playing soccer, or "achieving" in some fashion. Art for the sake of art seems a waste of time and certainly isn't encouraged. As they are older, their homemade gifts are received with less enthusiasm, which teaches them that money for store-bought gifts is better. Their creative writing is stifled as it is viewed with a critical eye for correct spelling and punctuation and not for the ideas and insights.
I'm making my girls a promise right now. I will always be more thrilled with a homemade gift than with a store-bought one. I will never read a creative story with an eye for grammar and spelling. I will never think that creative expression is a waste of time. I will always make room for Art Day. And I will hope that they carry on the tradition forever.