Friday, July 24, 2015

And the decree came down: "BE CREATIVE."

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

We've seen the triangle of arrows, we understand the need to save the planet.  How much do we do to truly embody this challenge?  I often purge seemingly useless stuff, just for the satisfaction of having gotten clutter out of a drawer, shelf, or the trunk of my car.  Today I realized that I've been going at this all wrong.

All thanks to Ellen.  Remember my lunch a few weeks ago with the Entrepreneurial Lunch Partners?   During that lunch, Ellen casually mentioned a reuse-it shop for creative people in Lancaster.  Somehow, the existence of this place escaped me, and today was the day to check it out.

I deem it to be darned close to heaven for the thrifty creative person.  (And I don't just say that because of the five pairs of white-feathered angel wings I purchased for some church drama in the future...).  Lancaster Creative Reuse looks a bit like my craft closet.  Collections of partially finished craft projects, assorted threads, trims, paper, tools, and a bunch of unknown stuff, until you know exactly what it is -- if you know what I mean.  And if you're a crafty sort, you know.  It's that tiny piece of metal that nobody knows what it is until it is the exact thing you need to finish your watchamajig.

 It's about creativity.

But what to my wondering eyes did appear?  A miniature bag, and eight, no six.... (wait for it...)  HATS!  Seriously.  A look of total disbelief crossed my face as I discovered a zippered bag containing six satin hats, from the Edward de Bono collection.    Edward de Bono, an internationally known leading authority in the field of creative thinking, innovation, and the direct teaching of thinking as a skill.   (Sound like the curriculum for Themes in Literature 2015-2016?  YOU BET!)  I was beyond thrilled, and happily forked over the cost of the hats -- which was a mere 90% off the online price.

I've used de Bono's Six Thinking Hats theory for years, and have a friend who actually used it in industry as a means for controlled brainstorming.  The many people shopping at the Reuse it today were clearly employing the strategies of the Hats, because they're creative, and the skills of the hats are now second nature to them.

If you aren't a creative person, well, you're missing out.  Honestly, everyone is -- you/they just don't know it.  Pick up a pencil or pen.  Doodle a bit.  Heck, put pepperoni on a pizza in the shape of a smiley face.  It will be the start of something new for you, and it will make someone else smile.  (Which is the hidden secret reward of creativity, after all.)

And if you buy some supplies and the craft you've taken up doesn't float your boat, I know a place that will take your donation off your hands, in exchange for a lovely tax deduction.  So what do you have to lose?