August 17, 2014
Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles.
Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances.
Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it.
Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
Expediency ask the question, is it politic?
Vanity asks the question, is it popular?
But, conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.
–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Courage breeds creativity…as a creative and someone who is (somewhat) obsessed with the development of creativity in others this quote and these ideas are golden to me. If courage breeds creativity, does creativity breed courage? Could being more creative make you more courageous in other areas of your life? Do those who are courageous in the face of so many challenges self identify as creative as well? And on a more personal level…every time I am courageous do I see that as an act of creativity? An act of making something out of nothing…seeing a new way?
I don’t know. But, what I do know in my tenure as an applied arts educator is that creative work takes courage because it involves so much confrontation. Without a thick skin and a large dose of tenacity, first your teachers and then your clients will squelch the creativity from you because you’re constantly pushed and prodded and told your ideas are “okay…but why not go this way instead??”
Students who succeed are those who have the courage either to say “Nope. This is my vision because _______ .” Or those who have the courageous humility to say “Let’s do it! This job/project/assignment is bigger than my own ego and I’m going to listen to what you have to say so we can co-create something better than either of us thought possible.”
Now…how to go about developing this creative courage.