I am all for bringing out creativeness early in a child's life. During most of my schooldays - grade school, junior high and high school - I was usually stifled when I attempted to be creative.  Even though my parents encouraged me, my school teachers (and yeah, some bosses over the years) DID NOT. I know if these yams had been better at their job, it would've helped.

When I was in grade school, I used to draw/write my own comic books about the adventures of the kids in my neighborhood. However, my teacher FORBADE me from drawing cartoons in class and made damn well sure I would be reprimanded if I did. And yes, they were CLEAN cartoons...which makes it all the more puzzling why she didn't want me to draw. Aren't children SUPPOSED to exert some creativity in any form at a young age?

In Junior High our Social Studies class was supposed to compose a story of any type - so I wrote (what I thought was) a funny story. Teacher's reaction? He gave me a "D" and in big red letters on the top of the page scrawled, "NOT REALLY FUNNY." Now - isn't a teacher supposed to give some helpful criticism? I mean, I was only in 8th grade and the story may NOT have been the greatest - but some helpful tips from this bozo would've helped me MAKE it more funny...that would have been in order, right? RIGHT.

In high school I was eliminated from participating in school plays because they felt my grades weren't good enough...even though my tryouts were applauded by the others in attendance. Oh, the faculty would allow me to try out for sports, but not for plays. Does that make ANY sense to you???

All through school my creative efforts were misunderstood and discouraged. In my adult life I have had much more success in exercising my creativity, even though I have had some bosses in the past that didn't understand and wouldn't TRY to. These days I am very fortunate in my work. I've been extremely lucky to make a living in a profession that depends heavily on creativity.

WHAT'S MY POINT OF ALL THIS? My point is, I'm hoping whoever reads this - and I don't imagine many will - takes the time to encourage any young people in their family or elsewhere to exercise their creativity. It's not that difficult to do. For example: your child is too involved with video games? Have he/she sit down and create an outline of their OWN video game. The same goes for a child's love of music, monster movies, board games, model building - have them write a story about it or create their own.....it doesn't matter. They need encouragement to be creative and stretch their minds.

Okay, I'm done ranting. Now get out there and spark some creativity. You'll be surprised at the results.

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