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Monday, 6 May 2013

Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me) (part 2)

My daughter made a belt at preschool. She decided her dress needed a belt so she made it out of paper, all by herself, and wore it for the rest of the day.



It's not the first time she's done this. She's also made a hat (though the Cancer Council wouldn't approve it) and some Hello Kitty ears, and worn them for the day. Unprompted, all by herself.
I don't think my child is a genius, budding fashion designer or anything exceptional for doing this.(though we all know our own kids are better than everyone else's). I think all kids do this - they have this spark of creativity and imagination that can solve their problem instantaneously.

My question is, at what age do we lose it? And more importantly, why? Why would humans be created (and I mean in the sense of evolution & Darwin or God, either is applicable) with this imagination if it never gets used beyond youth? It's almost like a super power in children that fades with age.

So why get it in the first place? What is it's evolutionary/survival purpose?

And why do we have to lose it? Have we, the society,  created the constraints that make it obsolete?
Why can't we say "I'd love a Dior dress, I'll just use that butchers paper and whip one up" and then see it as an item of perfection, and worthy of wearing for the day?

No matter how happy an adult is, it's never the same as that unbridled joy of a child. The child who is so content to slide endlessly down the same slide or create a hospital in the living room to be the nurse and care for the sick toys.

Once it's lost, can you never really get it back?

I'm curious if anyone has any insight on this? Or does anyone else even worry about the concept? (I know I'm probably out on a limb here...)

Linking up with #MLSTL



PS. A long while back, I wrote this lament to the loss of imagination in our humdrum adult lives, so clearly I have more of an issue with this than most, as it's cropped up again for me.

29 comments:

  1. I have thought about this once or twice but only very fleetingly - now I will ponder it inbetween getting month end accounts finished and wondering how I am going to get two tax returns completed and to the accountant by the end of the weekend given we have a 21st on Saturday night at home (and all the related madness around the house and garden to make it presentable on the night) and the actual birthday and Mother's Day on Sunday !!!
    Sometimes I long to be a child again - not that my imagination was that great from what I remember, but just to have no worries for those years !!
    Have the best day !
    Me

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  2. I think about it often. I have no creativity and lament that loss.
    I do think it is 'beaten' out of us. We have to conform to fit in, to be a 'good' girl or boy. We are told no, we are told don't do that. I am guilty of it often with my son and it worries me that I may well take it away in an effort to bring him up well.
    How do we balance what is right and wrong, what is seen as manners and what is dangerous with allowing them to be free to think, play, create and feel the way they do and take that with them into their adult life?
    Becc @ Take Charge Now

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    1. I don't think you can say you have NO creativity ;)
      That's the question, are we the parents, in part responsible for making them lose it?

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  3. Wow! Those are some great questions - that I probably don't have the answers for! I think though, it is the naivity that we lose. We learn right from wrong, and what is risk and what are consequences. We learn judgement from being judged or seeing others judged. I think this all impacts on who we turn out to be.
    I like to think I still have my imagination and creativity (through my writing), but I also know I have lost that unbridled childhood happiness. x

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    1. unbridled happiness...we all need a bit of that!

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  4. I know. It's a bit sad isn't it? I remember when I was about 11 and I had all these grand plans for the future. I was going to be a hairdresser/ fashion designer/ writer/ ruler of a country. I had maps and everything. Then it all fell by the wayside. Stupid real life.

    I think the really artistic, creative, successful people in life are the ones that don't lose that spark.

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  5. Some really simple yet complex questions there.
    I have thought of this MANY times, and I guess its those that dress the way they want and wear bright outfits that we as society pen as ODD that are really the true winners here.
    I am trying to move away from the conformity and wear what I want and be who I am.. but it IS hard as an adult.
    I think its just a pure joy to see this in children and I know when my time comes to have my own child im going to let those litle imaginations run free as much as possible, without danger!

    xx Meagan

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    1. I might look at those people a little differently now...cos I think you may be right.

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  6. Those that never grow out of it are the ones at the Shopping centres that stand out, you know the ones. everyone looks at them, some people judge them, but they are just expressing themselves in a child like manner, not caring who is looking or what they are thinking. Being happy in themselves.

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    Replies
    1. That's a bigger issue, isn't it? Being happy in themselves.

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  7. It is sad, isn't it? But I think if we realise we're losing it, we have the opportunity to regain it. Maybe not all of that creativity (and what do they call it in French, "Joie De Vivre"?) can come back but we can always but try. There's the kid in all of us. It all depends how much we want it back.

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    1. Do you think the French have more of it if they have a term for it? Why don't we have a word for it? That's how unimportant we think it is...

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  8. I think one of the main things is time and responsibility. I think as we get older we run out of time to just be creative like that, or more so to PRACTICE creativity. It dies if you don't practice it...
    Also responsibility can lead to more stress, and if we don't see creativity as a took for survival (mostly because we really enjoy those things) then we cut them out a bit...

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  9. I lost it - stuck in the mummy fog ;)
    It is coming back to me now and ... I am grabbing it by the ears and not letting go!
    Despite the madness they drag us through, we have much to learn from our children xx

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  10. I think too, that when we are kids, we believe we can do anything and we aren't critical of what we produce. We celebrate our creations. As adults, we cast a critical eye over things perhaps too worried and aware how others would view it. Oh for the innocence of youth :)


    Hello from #teamIBOT

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    1. Do you think we can get rid of that critical eye? And voice in our head that judges us and worries about what others think?

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  11. For me personally, I don't think I ever had a real creative side. I've always been the practical one, the organizer. Interesting since two of my three kids are very creative (artwork, crafts, photography) and the other is much like me (detailed organizer).

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    1. Hmmm, interesting perspective. Maybe it's not age, just personality?

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  12. I think we tend to worry about what we think other people will think about us. Those older ladies who dress so flamboyantly have taken a bit of their creativity back - but you need a big dollop of self confidence to be able to carry it off. Maybe we need to work on our self belief, our devil-may-care attitude, and realize how little other people really notice about us. That being said, I still have a longgggg way to go!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I've shared on my SM :)

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    1. Classic line "How little other people really notice about us" There's so much truth there!

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  13. This is one of the areas that I focus on in my blog...creativity. Children are naturally creative and unfortunately, it's slowly bored out of their brain from rote learning. But it can be taught, we can practice, and we can get better at it. It's imperative. Whether it's the next artist or the next rocket scientist, we need creative people to keep moving us forward.

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  14. Visiting from MLSTL and I also ponder re-igniting creativity at this stage of my life! I took a creativity quiz recently that supported the approach I take towards creativity. Check it out at www.mycreativitytype.com I'm not sure how statistically vetted it is, but it is super cute. :-) Anyway, I don't have the childlike imagination, but I do add in things like coloring books, making crafts, and playing at the beach to stimulate that child within.

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  15. Hi Lydia my grandson helps me to reignite the joy of being a child. Each week I'm with him we discover new things. I love our walks and the conversations we have to and from school. I love that he has such a beautiful imagination that i just get swept along with him. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and reminding us of this beautiful quality that many of us forget as we age. x

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  16. I have thought this from time to time, and as I get older I'm starting to enjoy simple things a lot more. I can now play in the park and not worry about what people think (my post for this week's MLSTL) and do funny things for my granddaughter. I think we somehow have to get back in touch with our creative side! #mlstl

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  17. Oh, if we could all keep that childlike creativity and disregard for what anyone else in the world thinks! One thing I've noticed is that in mid-life, women are starting to come back to their creative selves and opening doors for things they haven't done or thought of in years.

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