Ask a roomful of people to consider a toothpick within a 2 minutes timeframe, to come up with as many uses for it as they can think of, other than the purpose for what it is made, and you will be amazed. The combined ideas will create a long list. Some of the ideas will be common in most people’s responses and some will be unique to maybe one or two people. That group of people will be pleased with their efforts.
Now, if you were to replace those people with a new roomful of people and ask them to do the same thing BUT you show them the first room’s list, you will end up with even more suggestions.
Brainstorming is a very useful tool when a company needs to get the creative juices flowing. It is a great way to stimulate new ideas for answers to problems that are not responding to the usual answers. But this practice also demonstrates how we see things. We often only see the purpose for which we think (our education, our upbringing, our beliefs)it has been created. In the exercises above you will always have those people who struggle to come up with any other ideas, or who produce only a couple more than the original use for which it was intended. And yet others produce a list full of really different ideas that everyone can agree, would work. Should an object not be perfect, it is often considered useless and is discarded. In the example above, if you opened the box and found a broken toothpick, most of us would throw it away. Some might even take the whole box back to the store and demand our money back. Continue reading →
Katelyn Nicole Davis (Dolly) 12 years old. She shared her heart with us, wanting some reassurance, and we showed her the ugliest part of being human – that part within humans, where they believe that everything is a competition and that they can only win by making sure someone else loses.
How does a 12-year-old make the decision to end her life and do so, exiting out of it with a string of apologies for letting everyone down? What did we expect from her? How could her life come and go and seem to mean so little to this world? Such a beautiful, sweet girl. Look at her. How fitting is her nickname of “Dolly?” Most of us will feel terrible about this little girl committing suicide and we will look at the actual people who did this to her in a “them” and “me” type of lens, but we all contributed to this and the many other cases of bullying that goes on everywhere. Continue reading →
The Pez annual Easter Egg Hunt for Children, in Connecticut had to be cancelled. It wasn’t because of “the kids these days” either. Nope, it was because of the people in charge of raising “the kids these days” – their parents.
Adults suck because they are always painting their own agendas, fears, insecurities, beliefs, etc . . . all over the innocence and fun of children. Children are capable of running and playing and having fun with all the other kids. They win, they lose, they share. When they don’t share, the natural consequences of the herd take care of that. The other kids stop wanting to play with you until you learn to share. No-one gets killed or trampled in the process, you just learn that “friends” require give and take.
This Easter, one family of grandkids arrived at our home for an Easter egg hunt. It contained an older sister and 3 very close in age, very aggressive, very male, little boys. They ranged in age from 2 – 5 and are constantly competing for all things life. As they ran back and forth on the lawn finding their eggs to put in their “baskets” there were shouts of happiness and good natured taunting. There was some impromptu racing for the egg spied across the yard in the birdbath, a little bit of shoving, but mostly laughing. In the end, all tired and sweaty, proud of their efforts, they handed over their eggs to be put into the fridge to keep them from melting. No-one cared about counting who had the most. In the end, when they came out of the fridge, the children wanted them divided between them all, regardless of who had found them. Kids are capable of a heck of a lot of decent human behaviour when the adults can just back off and not project all their own crap all over them. Continue reading →