Taking time out to create, to make art just for you, to indulge in such an insular venture, is seen by many of us as very selfish.
This then leads to feelings of guilt, and after much wrestling and struggling, it usually ends up in us creating far less than we want to, deep down. Or worse, we end up not creating anything at all.
You’re hiding your talents from the world.
But at least you’re not being selfish hey?
This makes absolutely no sense.
So what if we turn this view of creating being a selfish act around?
What if instead we believed it that by NOT creating we were being selfish?
When we create, we each give something unique to the world. No-one else can create like you can, no-one else has the same combination of talent, experience, heart, passion, ambition and ideas. You’re one of a kind.
What this means is you have the responsibility to bring that creative uniqueness to the world around you, because no-one else can do it like you.
This works on two different levels, and both are equally important.
One: The actual art you create.
By art I don’t just mean the paintings, poems and photographs. I mean everything you create, including the meals, the clothing, the social events, the groups, the relationships. Everything you do is art.
People come in contact with what you’ve created, and are touched, excited, enlightened, inspired, and otherwise moved. By the stuff you’ve created.
You have an ongoing, expanding audience that appreciate you. Don’t be selfish and hide or suppress your creativity, you’d be letting them, and yourself, down.
Two: The way you show up and create.
Again this can be in many more ways that just traditional recognised forms like paintings and poems. When other people see that time after time you’re stepping up and being an artist, giving voice and form to your creative ideas and being, they can’t help but be inspired.
It’s like a kind of unspoken permission you give them. That shy little voice inside them that whispers “Um, is it ok if I actually create stuff please, because I kinda really want to?” gets a huge, confident “Yes of course it’s ok to create! It’s a good thing!” simply by your actions.
If you reach three other people, then they do the same, and they the same, very soon your little creative ripples become tidal waves. It would be plain selfish NOT to give the people the opportunity to be more creative because of the way the see you’re creating out loud yourself.
Here’s a further angle to think on, if you’re still having doubts.
What would the world be like if all the doctors were too selfish to give their talents to healing people and saving lives?
What if all the teachers packed up and went home, refusing to teach anymore and positively affect the lives of millions because they thought it was too selfish to pursue a career they loved?
What if all the community and charity volunteers the world over decided not give their time and talents anymore because they actually felt good about helping others, and hey doing something that makes you feel good is just selfish, right?
NOT creating is utterly selfish.
And I know you’re not a selfish person.
There’s only one way the next line is going to read: Go, create and inspire, it’s your privilege, it’s your duty. Nothing less.
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