You can't miss them, right? They are those people that have a particular style, their hair has a dash of the rainbow and a mass of braids or their dark and brooding ways prove they are a poet on the verge of discovery. My first poetry slam had a mix of what I expected, but the other half did not fit the narrow picture I had imagined. This other half surprised me; the straight-laced school teacher, the mid-forty-something body builder and that extreme introvert from Norfolk Virginia. This experience had two effects on me; the first was to challenge my stereotypes of who writes poetry and the second was to give me a glimmer of hope that there was a trace of creativity coursing through these uninitiated veins.
Ramon sold me my cell phone upgrade today and during the conversation I learned that he is a creative. Believe it or not, selling cell phones was not his lifelong dream. I know, I know, I should have warned you to sit down for that news. He would prefer to be impacting the world through his writing, his guitar, and mixing music. There was a creative, right in front of me; the logo on his shirt just distracted me from who he really is. Our conversation inspired each of us to redouble our efforts to produce content. Shouldn't this be the result of our interactions with others; to leave them better than we found them?
Writing this post has had a couple more effects; the first is to prompt you to have the courage to do a bit of naval gazing and determine how you might be creative; then take the first step towards cultivation of this dormant talent. The second effect is for you to express your gratitude to those around you who are expressing their creative genius. These souls are creating something to be put into the world and risk criticism and humiliation. Even if it doesn't strongly appeal to you, they have dared to push back against the resistance that says they are a failure and their art is not worthy. This bravery is worth encouraging.
What is the creative stereotype you default to? How do you encourage your inner creative? How does your definition of creative expand beyond just the stereotypical arts? Who are creatives you appreciate and what about them appeals to you?