We all want our children to have happy, healthy and successful lives, but I think it is obvious that more testing and more pressure is not the answer. What could be a solution in this fast paced ever-changing world we now live in?
In our complex world, it is easy to get caught up in the “more is better” mind set instead of remembering the power of “less”. It is also easy to forget that when we provide all of the bells and whistles on anything we can discourage active participation, interaction and conscious growth. In fact this approach can encourage passivity. At the same time, when we create situations that are open, flexible, and encourage creating with no right or wrong we coax the mind to engage, take risks, interact, play, communicate and problem-solve.
The “all bells and whistles” experience is similar to talking with someone who monopolizes the conversation so much that you can feel a part of yourself disappearing. Creating opened ended opportunities for the mind to explore and discover is restorative and empowering.
Can you remember playing with a refrigerator box when you were young? It was a castle, a fort, a house, a restaurant, a bed, a jail, a puppet theatre, a whale, or a bridge. We created and explored–the list was endless.
Art is not just for the “gifted”. Art is a gift from the Universe that can help us discover and express our own unique “giftedness”. When art is approached from the “refrigerator box” perspective we invite the child or adult to explore, discover, and find his or her own way. No matter what the material, the possibilities are infinite, and that is what expands minds. In the process the child or adult can find him or her self, gain a deeper meaning of life and find a way to express their feelings in an uncensored manner.
Here is an amazing video of what can be created with just a stick and a rake. Remember the possibilities are infinite!