Note: Sorry if this old article shows up in your newsreader. I needed to change a few filenames, and my site’s RSS generator might pick up the changes and republish the articles.
Consume, consume, consume.
With all the cool websites to visit, thrilling television shows to watch, movies and music to steal, books to read, and games to play, it’s a wonder we’re not walking around in a post-Thanksgiving-esque stupor.
Then again, maybe that’s exactly what we’re doing.
Listen: It is vital for the growth of children and adults alike to create as well as consume. This is especially true for our youngsters, who may not remember a time when the world wasn’t accessible from a desk chair. We have to show them - remind them - that the world they experience doesn’t merely exist. Rather, it is built.
There are an infinite number of ways to create. Here are just a few:
- Draw. Just draw. Take 15 minutes this evening, go outside, and draw the clouds and moon.
- Write an Op-Ed for your local or a national newspaper. Even if it doesn’t get printed, you’ll learn about where you stand in the process of writing it.
- Cook something for the first time. Grab a recipe and get going.
- Become a photographer. Buy a disposable camera from a store like Safeway and take 5 photos from the perspective of an ant and 5 photos from the perspective of a bird (This means climbing!).
- Start a blog. Tumblr is easy to use and takes 10 seconds (literally) to set up.
And if none of those are appealing, think of another way to create. Or help someone else create.
Supplementing consumption with creation enables growth on multiple levels. When you create, you build the confidence in your abilities that’s required to take risks in the future and think quickly. What’s more, your creation may become a form of consumption for others. The world grows as we create.
One final method of creation: Responding to the creations of others. As you experience something, feelings and thoughts must go through your head. What do you do with them? Most people either forget them or don’t even notice them in the first place. But developing an awareness of your self, so that you can detect and understand your fleeting emotions and thoughts, is perhaps the only way to truly improve yourself from within.
As practice, try commenting on blog posts and online news articles. This will force you to think about what you just consumed, and eventually your thoughts will become clearer and awareness will require less effort.