Let’s face it, kids have it all over us adults when it comes to creativity.
One of the requisites of a creative mind is the ability to see things from a fresh perspective. This is where the kids come in. Children don’t have the realistic limits on their imaginations that adults have. They can put things together any way they want. And even though they may be outside the realm of the possible, nevertheless, unfettered imaginations can spark new approaches to tired old problems.
One of our readers tells a story about her granddaughter’s teacher making her do over a picture she drew of a purple camel because: “Camels aren’t purple.” Well, who says? Once, when a similar thing happened to my daughter, she looked at the teacher and said, “Excuse me, but I’m the artist.” That’s when you stand up and cheer for the kids.
I am suddenly thinking of the time they brought a blind man to Jesus and he spat on the man’s eyes, touched him and asked if he could see anything, to which the man replied, “I see men as trees, walking” (Mark 8:24). Although Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and this time he saw clearly, I wonder if He might have been at all tempted to leave the man with his walking trees. Walking trees are a kind of refreshing change to seeing people walking around like they always do and trees stuck in the ground. C.S. Lewis created walking trees in his Chronicles of Narnia and I’m sure it was thinking like a child that gave him the idea. Children would have no problem with walking trees. That’s the type of imagination they have all the time.
Sometimes, seeing our way out of a problem is a factor of becoming less complicated, not more. Try seeing from an entirely different perspective, like a child.
[Note: The last time I wrote about this, a couple people wrote to correct me about Lewis’s walking trees suggesting that I must have meant the Ents from Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. They didn’t recall any walking trees in the Narnia stories. And then, to my relief, Mayre came to my defense: “John: You were correct. C.S. Lewis had trees that walked and danced. The Magician’s Nephew recounts Aslan calling Narnia to life and saying ‘be walking trees…’; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe references the Tree Women (Dryads) who gathered with everyone else before the battle with the White Witch; and in Prince Caspian Lucy sees trees ‘moving’ and ‘walking about’ in a ‘complicated country dance’ to recount just a few of his references to walking trees.”
Ahhh … sweet vindication!]