We are living in possibly one of the most vitriolic, polarized societies ever. There’s no shortage of hateful memes or political rants going around. It can feel discouraging when everywhere you look, there’s so much anger being spewed by people on all sides of the political spectrum.
I was getting really cynical about life when I would check my Facebook. Scrolling through my news feed, I would see posts from my conservative friends, my liberal friends, my religious friends, my atheist friends, my social justice warrior friends, my friends who hate PC culture, and everyone in between. And they all seemed to be yelling at each other, if not directly then indirectly.
One of the reasons I started this blog was to discuss something more positive on the internet. Something that brings us all together. And as I was scanning my friends’ list to do my first round of creativity spotlight interviews for this site, I realized that pretty much everyone I know is creative or artistic in some way, even if they don’t think of themselves as being artists. Sure, I have friends that are Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, atheist, hippies, activists, members of the LGBT community, friends in recovery, friends in active addiction, friends with mental health issues, friends with disabilities, and friends of many ethnicities, nationalities, and classes. And when I look at them in terms of politics, religion, class, race, sexual orientation, gender, etc., they can all seem quite different.
But I also have friends who like to write songs and friends who love to paint. I have friends who create installation art. I have friends who crochet and color in adult coloring books. I have friends who love to appreciate powerful storytelling by reading, watching movies, or binging Netflix shows. I have friends who like to sing karaoke and make Spotify playlists. I have friends who like to doodle mindlessly. I have friends who like to write poetry or stories. And when I focused on all of the ways in which we are alike, I saw that one of the main things that bring us all together is art and creativity. Even those friends I have who don’t think of themselves as artists are all creative in some way. Maybe it’s the way they dress, the way they decorate their homes or offices, the way they take photos on their phones, the quote pictures or memes they create, or the clever things they Tweet.
Perhaps you don’t believe me. Perhaps you don’t think you have anything in common with those Trump supporters or liberal “snowflakes” or intellectual secularists or zealous religious fanatics. But look back over all of the creativity spotlight interviews I’ve done so far. I can tell you of all the people I’ve interviewed, some of them are atheists, some of them are religious, some of them are liberal, some of them are conservative, and just from looking at their creativity interviews, it’s impossible to tell which is which.
Because we are so much more than these labels we give ourselves. We are all artists. We are all creators. Creativity is one of the amazing things that make us human. And I think one of my main callings or purposes is to bring everyone together to celebrate our creativity.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be an activist or vote or fight for the things you believe in. And there is certainly a need for all of those things. But I think it’s also important to keep in mind that we are all connected so that we don’t get into the whole “us versus them” mentality where there is only you and “the other.” And I think one of the best ways to do that is to celebrate the art and creativity that brings us all together.