Not too long ago I wound up out in our backyard, chalk drawing with my granddaughter Hallie and my daughter Amy. A few days later Amy sent this picture. Hallie loves art anyhow, but she kept saying “I wanna draw like Gwampa.” I was flattered and pleased but it made me think. A lot. Here are some of those thoughts:
- I had no idea how much that little girl was watching. We were just having fun together. But apparently, she was paying close attention.
- I think it is really important to foster a love for doing with your hands. Whether it is drawing, building, cooking, doing crafts, or anything else that results in something tangible from our own efforts, it is important. Our entire world is swallowed up in the virtual and we risk losing a knowledge of how to create. The value of making things is not so much the end result but the inner satisfaction that is derived from creating something tangible that becomes a part of who you are.
- I need to encourage children and teens to find their own career path, especially if they have a love for making things. Being a lawyer, engineer, or doctor, are not the only valid career paths. A world without artists, photographers, woodworkers, and farmers wouldn’t be a good place. Every occupation has a dignity and a place and every person should be treated with respect for what they do.
- Even more important than modeling creativity for my granddaughter and others is that I model what it means to be a man who loves God, treats people well, and who lives a responsible and meaningful life that matters. Long after most of my work is gone, I pray that I will leave a legacy to the generations that follow me that can never perish.
We recently had some friends over and I did an activity with the kids in my workshop. I encouraged the adults to join in but most were skittish, fearful of failure. The kids, however, dove in and had a blast. What happened to the adventurous creative spirit that those adults had as children? I recently saw a sobering statement “Most children think they are artists until someone tells them they aren’t.” Let’s live large creatively for the sake of the little ones around us!