We were made to create. It’s in our blood, our brains, our intangible soul. We’re wired to craft something new, to use our sense of beauty, pragmatism, and curiosity.
What happens if you mix these colors? These angles? How can I solve a problem using the things I can feasibly reach? How can I make a task simpler? How can I turn something ordinary into something that makes me smile?
Ecclesiastes says there’s nothing new under the sun. Except… you are new. No one else can craft the ideas, notes, bundles of words, or tapestries that you can.
We take it for granted that children need to create. We give them crayons, popsicle sticks, clay, glitter, and glue—and the power to do more or less whatever they want with those tools. We watch them problem-solve and beam with pride as they create. We see the value it adds to their worlds. Creation blossoms out of them, whether they’re building with Legos or finger-painting with ketchup.
And then at some point we relegate craft to a childish activity—in the most derogatory possible way. You’re going to art school? How cute. You want to write stories? That’s nice. How sweet that your grandma taught you to quilt.
Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. Make. –Joss Whedon
There’s this impression that creation (which encompasses practically any hobby, if you think about it) is a second-rate way to spend your time. Unless you hit the popularity/talent/cultural jackpot and become the next Picasso or Bach or Lady Gaga, society is likely to tell you that you’re wasting your time.
Why quilt a blanket by hand when you can buy one for twenty bucks at Sears and do something productive with your time?
Maybe creating is the most powerful thing we can do. Or at least in the top five.
I want to know why our world thinks that craft loses its value sometime around third grade.
I want to know why creation is a dorky thing to do.
We complain at how entitled “kids” are when society teaches them that creating things isn’t valuable, that it’s a task to be farmed out to developing countries, or that it’s just for those who can earn a full-time living with it.
We all need to create. We’re wired for it. Whether you believe that you’re made in the image of this world’s creator or not, you’ve experienced the drive to make *something* that was just yours. Something you authored, dreamed, sculpted, stacked, painted, carved, or stitched.
So if you haven’t done any of those dorky, hobbyish, crafty, third-world things lately, I’m going to suggest that you dig deep, look beyond the inclination to just go buy a thing, and find a way to craft what you need or want.
Whether it’s wall art, a pretty rug, a tiny house, a poem, a potholder, or a pair of hand knitted socks, even if you follow a pattern, it’s going to be original. Because you are. You are wired to create. So let it happen.