This is an excerpt from an essay by IAM founder, Makato Fujimura. You can receive these essays by becoming a member of IAM at www.iamny.org. Let your creative spirit be encouraged!
"Artists are able to see the world with their “innocent” eye. Their skills and expressive language allow them to integrate child-like observation with the sophisticated skill set garnered by their experience. I use quotation marks around “innocent” because we can be seduced into thinking that all experience that is naïve could be meaningful. While I do not think that a child is given a pure vision, I do believe that we learn, and we are teaching our children, to be uncreative.
As children, we are naturally curious, stopping to pick up beautiful leaves, interesting stones, getting our hands dirty and constantly creating (making a mess, as we adults like to call it). Our education and culture devalues this very human process, by strictly defining success as measurable and contained. We tell our children to stop wasting time creating and learn to fill out boxes of standardized exams. We tell them that their friendship has links to their performance, and status in schools. We ask them to think seriously about their future, and educate them to prepare for the Information Age, which has already passed us. If we are to lead the Creative Age, we must start by acknowledging that children have much to teach us."
"Business circles are paying more credence to creativity and vision, combining design with the infrastructure of business enterprises (see, for example, www.ideo.com <http://www.ideo.com> ) : by being aware of the cultural conditions, one can forecast the future trends and anticipate them. But this gift of awareness can go beyond the black and white world of profit: it is given so that business itself can be transformed into something more human, and empowering to those who participate: in short, a beautiful business."
"Christians (like most institutions of our day) tend to avoid culture, especially the front-line culture, and avoid engagement out of fear. But a Biblical mandate begins with God creating the universe, and declaring about every aspect, “It is Good.” We need to learn to love our world, and to discern what is beneficial and what harms. Our engagement with culture begins with stewarding our culture, and taking responsibility for her. We need to wrestle, and dig deeply, sharpening our cultural awareness to discover the deeper mines of precious stones embedded deep beneath the layers of cultural dust."