Edit your thoughts and ideas to what is acceptable. Make sure you won’t be judged. Copy what has already been done. Follow the rubric. Remember, you don’t want your fragile heart exposed. It is easier to follow the steps someone has assigned than to trust a God you can’t see. The excitement of uncertainty is immature; the thrill of risk is irresponsible. Be accepted. Be normal. Be safe.
The world told us to be safe. These demands have made us nothing but government-approved test-tube children that grew up in a lab, not in a backyard of adventures. Normal made us into well-functioning robots that adhere to the standards of popular culture and status quo.
Meeting the requirements of “normal” is always easier than making a decision with no guarantees on the other side. Easier perhaps, but when the unknown is rejected, so is faith. A cost that often goes unseen, but is greater than we could imagine. This cost is killing us.
Ken Robinson, the creator of the TedTalk “Changing Education Paradigms” knows this epidemic far too well. Divergent thinking is the ability to see lots of possible answers to a question, lots of ways of interpreting a question; to think laterally, not linearly. Divergent thinking isn’t the same thing as creativity. Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value. However, divergent thinking is an essential prerequisite to creativity.
A book called “Breakpoint and Beyond” tested divergent-level thinking of kindergartners and 98% scored as a ‘genius.’ They tasted the same children 5 years later, and then 5 years later, etc.
The study proved that we all have a phenomenal capacity to think, but it mostly deteriorates over time. By adulthood, we have become educated. We have been told there is one answer, it’s located in the back of the book. And don’t look at your neighbor’s, that’s called cheating.
Our creativity died years ago when they told us to put away our crayons and to ditch our imaginary friends. Our creativity died when they told us to grow up, the quicker the better – and don’t even think about bringing your coloring book. Our creativity died when they silenced our futures with logic, explaining why we couldn’t be the captain of a pirate ship or an astronaut that lived in space when we grew up. Creativity died the day they told us our dreams were “unrealistic” or that we would “never make enough money.”
Our daring imaginations never left us, we just believed they did. The possibilities for thrilling voyages and passionate discoveries are buried deep within us and are begging to be reckoned with. Unanswered potential is screaming to us that our dreams are trustworthy and our lives were never intended to fit in a mold. It is time to embrace risk for the reward of trust it’s always been worth, to plunge into the mysterious depths we were created for, and adventure past what they’ve always considered “the right plan.”