Creative thinking may mean simply the realization that there’s no particular virtue in doing things the way they always have been done
Rudolf Flesch are several ways of looking at a problematic situation. Early on in my mothering career, I learned that I had a choice. I could either catastophize the dilemma or consider it an interesting challenge. With limited funds, surrounded by lots of little people on a hobby farm, I had to discover creative ways of coping. When I relaxed, often an unusual, creative or even funny solution popped into my head. I just needed to keep everything in perspective and listen to my own inner voice as well as the whispers of the Spirit. We are immersed in His Spirit. He is an part of every aspect of our lives.
We simply must take the time to listen and not over think and analyze. Ray Bradbury sums up how my kids solved their own problems,
Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.
Of course my family absorbed this attitude when they were still young. As part of a busy household, they often came up with their own solutions to problems before I could help them. Six-year old Joseph illustrates Bradbury’s concept perfectly. His grade one teacher recounted this story to me. It seems that she asked her class this question,
“How would you open the garage door if there were no grown-ups around?
Everybody just stared blankly at her, except Joseph. He frantically waved his hand in the air and then excitedly blurted out,
“You just stand on a milk crate, push on the upper left-hand corner of the door with a hockey stick and push hard. The door comes up a bit, you jump off the crate and crawl in!!”
When my eighth child was born, everyone was thirteen and under. The mornings could be chaotic and Joseph was the main contributor to the mayhem. He was full of energy and good humour but would express it by running up and down the kitchen in between eating, brushing his teeth, gathering reading books, exercise sheets and his lunch. Somehow with all this activity he never seemed to be able to get dressed.While holding newborn Anthony over my shoulder and awkwardly putting lunches together with a helper, I’d repeat over and over, as calmly as I could,
“Joseph, please put your clothes on.”
Finally I came to my senses; there had to be an easier way to handle the morning Battle To Get Him Dressed. Soon after, I spotted a crazy cartoon in a parenting magazine. On two single beds, side by side, a little boy and girl lay on top of the covers. They were fully dressed in formal clothes with socks and shoes, hair clips, flower basket beside the girl and beside the boy, wedding rings on a pillow. Their mother had ready for the wedding the next day by getting the ring bearer and flower girl ready the night before. It looked so ludicrous that I laughed every time this image came to mind the rest of the week.
Then I experienced what I call a suddenly and inspiration hit. The p.j.s Joseph wore to bed were not all that different from the sweat suits he wore to school. Why on earth did I not dress him in one of his school sweat suits right after his nightly bath? It was ingenious, I thought.
After the first day though, I realised that I had overlooked one vital article of clothing the night before. As usual, Joseph was running up and down the kitchen but this time I was yelling,
“Joseph, please put your socks on.”