I haven't been listing or reviewing all the books I've read, mostly because I just decided that I would only write about books when I had something I felt compelled to share. In that vein, I am currently reading How to Fly a Horse by Kevin Ashton. I am not currently all that far along, a quarter of the way through the book perhaps, and it is an interesting read, not just because of natural human confirmation bias, as it does align with some of my treasured beliefs, but because it challenges some of my assumptions and basic insecurities as well.
A passage I read last night is still reverberating through my thoughts and so I thought I would share it with you here:
"The vast majority -- 98 percent -- of teachers say creating is so important that it should be taught daily, but when tested, they nearly always favor less creative children over more creative children."
There are references to a wide selection of studies, and I won't go into that here. But this strikes me as true, based on experience (confirmation bias) although I didn't actually think it was that universal.
But what particularly sticks in my head this morning are the broader implications. Creativity isn't some kind of fairy dust that is sprinkled down from heaven and we all smile and paint pretty pictures. Creativity and creative thinking requires that one constantly ask questions, challenge assumptions, always seek to grow and understand and improve. Creative children are not the quiet docile children who follow direction well, they are the ones that are always asking why, are always thinking outside the box, the ones who challenge your assumptions on a daily basis. Creative children are not easy.
And this brings me to my point. We all tend to do this. We all think we know what we want. We want to encourage children to be creative, we want certain characteristics in our ideal mate, we envision ourselves in the perfect career. But the problem is that the reality is usually messier and far more complex than our imagined version. In our minds and in our dreams we seek the ideal, the easy way. But what drives us, what compels us, where we find meaning, is rarely in the easy path.
I don't quite know where my thoughts are going with this yet, but perhaps we should be pursuing what drives us, what keeps us awake at night, the thing that compels us to move forward even though we fear we might fail. Perhaps the fact that we struggle is not a sign of weakness, but our strengths.....