Do you ever wonder why President Obama keeps reiterating that we need to train our children to focus on maths, sciences and technology, pushing them towards readiness for jobs and careers of the future, which are all ostensibly oriented towards the left-brained world of technology? Do you ever wonder why he doesn’t support the arts? Or why he and many of our leaders never think to focus on creating rewarding career options for all types of skill sets? Doesn’t anyone want to help create a well rounded population of individuals who are passionate about the work they do each day?
If you are a parent today, or just a person concerned about promoting a sustainable future, then you most likely have given some thought as to the direction our world is taking. You must be wondering, as I am, how might we better prepare our young people to take over from where we will leave off.
It seems to me that as human beings, we are not sufficiently attentive to the children who are born into the world today. Each specific child comes into the world with gifts that the global community needs to develop and grow. Collectively, as parents and teachers, we need to carefully observe each child and learn to become familiar with his or her gifts, talents, and innate skills. I am firmly convinced that the world would evolve in a more positive direction if we would stop trying to mold these children into an image of the world that we have preconceived We would do better to receive the gifts that these children, as representatives of nature herself, are offering to usher in the necessary changes that the world requires to grow and evolve in a sustainable manner. Life is a creative process, and culture shouldn’t be in the business of stifling our natures as creative beings. A human being is capable of evolving creatively throughout a lifetime, yet we insist on making people conform to a dead image, stifling the life within.
Why do we assume that artists or people who are talented in the humanities should suffer in poverty, be required to work multiple jobs, preventing the world from benefiting from their talents? Why do we assume that technology is more important than arts and culture? Do our leaders notice that a lack of imagination creates a surplus of fundamentalism? Do they notice that large groups of people who are living in poverty, physically and mentally, may turn their focus to crime, drugs, or sink into depression? Why does it not occur to them that a happy population creates prosperity, and that satisfying work is a great source of contentment and stability in life? Does it occur to our leaders that creativity can serve technology, as technology can also serve the creative soul of the world?
The reason that we are all unique individuals is that the world needs us as such. In America, we overvalue extroversion and undervalue introversion, yet nature knows that the overly impulsive extrovert needs the more reflective and cautious introvert to create balance. Even as we value technology in the global community, to create a world culture that is sustainable, we must learn to live in harmony with our own creative nature. Our nature manifests itself in our innate ability to reinvent ourselves and our world each day. Let us embrace the gifts that our children bring to the world, and let us allow nature to express herself through us. In this manner, we will live in a world in which we are aware of our shadows, our fears and doubts, as well as the thrill of joy that being alive brings.
A therapist friend of mine once told me that the greatest fear humans share is the fear of being excluded, of not belonging. The desire to be loved and appreciated for who we are, for what we do are essential aspects of being human, of being alive. It seems to me it is in our collective best interest to promote acceptance and appreciation of each person in the world, no matter where they were born or who their parents are. Instead of propagating fear and fighting terrorism, we can plant the seeds for a sustainable world. We have the ability to embrace who we are, and we have the creative powers and the technology to organically model and remodel our world each day, celebrating together, one person at a time.