Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Creativity Exercise: A Fabulous Photograph

For today's creativity exercise, you don't have to get out a clean sheet of paper. You don't have to email me the answer. All you have to do is answer this question -- in the comments or in your head: Why do I love this photograph? (I as in me. Jan. Not I as in you. Fred. Or whoever.)

Go ahead. Answer. I'll wait. La de da de da de da. Doodle doo ... it's a lovely day today, and whatever you've got to do, you've got a lovely day to do it in, it's true ....

OK, got the answer? See if it matches any of mine. I love this photograph because:
  • It reminds me of the fabulous time I had with Tom and our friends at the World War I museum in KC, including our trip to the top of the Liberty Memorial -- a vantage point that gives you this view.
  • It is a photo of my hometown and I really like KC.
  • It includes the old (Union Station) and the new (Kauffman Performing Arts Center).
  • It's black and white. Isn't it lovely that a few things in the world really are black and white?
But the real reason I love this photo? Drum roll, please:

Because I took it.

Does that sound insanely egotistical to you? Guess what? I don't care.

I realize my stance on creative pride places me in the oddball category, a drawer I've been in before. But I bring this up for a reason: Lately, I've run into several depressing examples of amazingly talented people massively minimizing their accomplishments. We're not talking about healthy humility here. We're talking about people who clearly feel unworthy of praise and admiration.

If you ever feel that way, consider my perspective: Diminishing my talents doesn't boost anyone else. Downplaying my accomplishments doesn't make anyone else more skilled. On the other hand, if I stand up and say: Look at me! Look at this! It's so cool -- and I took it with a phone! I implicity give others permission to do the same. To celebrate their own wonderfulness.

So here's the view I really want to share: You're amazing. I know it. And I want you to enjoy it.


Lezlie said...

I think this is very important.

Most of us have been taught by our society and our religion (both Christian and Jewish cultures are huge offenders) that we shouldn't toot our own horns. In fact, to take pride in a skill, talent, etc. out loud is often viewed as shameful and wrong.

No wonder the world is full of so many languishing _______ (fill in the blank with whatever you don't do because 'humility' keeps you from seeing it's worth and your worth in doing it).

Neil said...

Cool, Jan. Kansas City has so many great gems that even locals don't take full advantage of. I still remember the first time I visited the Deanna Rose Farmstead...was with YOU!

(And, actually, I took a shot of Kansas City's skyline just last Friday, too --

Leslie said...

Very cool photo! It is perfect in black & white.