One crisp winter day, the sweetest little boy climbed up next to me on the bleachers and shouted “To the top of the hill!” to his grandmother. He was completely unaware of me, fully immersed in creative play.
As they made their way down to the end, he reached out for grandma's hand to help her up. His thoughtful and confident soul just knew he could do it, even though she was twice his size. My heart just melted. Once at the the top, he and his very fit granny stayed close to the fence as they ran and giggled the whole way back. This was the same little boy who ran behind me on the bleachers a few weeks ago while saying out loud “I think I’m going to win!” The most adorable part is he was running by himself, and being his own cheerleader. The whole experience was inspiring beyond words. I felt so honored and blessed to witness his bright light for a second time.
We're often in races by ourselves, but how often do we genuinely believe we’re going to win? I believe that if we spend more time accessing our creative can-do child mind, it’s more likely we’ll believe we CAN win. Children naturally expand our sense of wonder and hope. Their neuro-plasticity levels are also much higher than ours, which makes them information sponges and creative idea generators. These kids are also our future, and we're currently in the most challenging time to be a kid - ever. They need more support activities and positive role models to counteract all the crazy we're currently experiencing nationally and globally. About 15 years ago, while teaching architecture and design at the college level, I started noticing a disturbing decline in curiosity, creativity and resilience in my students year after year. Many of them were behaving like customers instead of learners, which I'd never encountered before. WTH?!? Was this some kind of post 911/Project Runway mashup?
This concern led me to start working more closely with teens, and now I'm focused on educational programming for children 9 and up, based on a tool/game I've been designing and playing by myself for about two decades now. It's super low tech, but loaded with Sith Wayfinder type possibilities.
First is was a sustainable product development tool, and over time it became a personal development tool - to manage all the things that were making me really cranky. It's taken quite some time to simplify it for a general audience, but it's here now, and I can't wait to start playing the game with more people.
Wanna play with me? I promise lots of fun and a huge spike in your creativity :)