It's Christmas Eve and I'm thinking about the world and all its trouble. So much fear, anger, outrage and injustice. From corporate CEO's stealing money from old ladies to cholera decimating Zimbabwe. It's enough to make you want to hide under the bed, or find a bunch of rocks and start throwing them at banks.
But despite all the trouble, I feel a spirit of hope. People everywhere are shaking off the helplessness and asking, what can I do? How can I help? Now is the time for all the crazy artists to drop their ennui and show people how to be creative.
Creativity is the fire that keeps us warm when we haven't seen the sun in weeks. It is the drive that urges us on when we swear we can't take one more step. As soon as we've lost all hope, the creative fire can inspire us to keep trying. It's thinking outside the box to solve problems and deal with chaos.
I'm not talking about the Michelangelo's of the world, although they are amazing. I'm talking about the knitters, woodworkers, cooks, teachers, lawyers, doctors, and plumbers of the world. Even Grandma Smith and her needlepoint bag contribute to the collective creative fire. Every time you look at something old in a new way, you are exercising your creativity, flexing your artistic muscles, and increasing your imagination. These are the tools you need when everything around you feels like it's collapsing.
On this Christmas and this week of Hanukkah, keep the warmth of good wishes, kindness, and beauty in your heart. Store it up for the long year ahead. And the next time you feel like hiding under the bed, remember how much possibility there still is in the world. You can see it in Uncle Jo's drift-wood mobile, or when Martha rebuilt her car's engine. These simple acts of imagination, knowledge, and creativity are what gave the human species fire, and that saved our asses during the Ice Age.
We are intrepid. We carry on.