Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Being thrilled for someone else's beautiful effort.

When Jillian and I were at Crafting Community last year, we were privileged to interview Todd Oldham of Kid Made Modern.

During the our time, I remarked how one of the neat things about being there at Crafting Community that weekend was that it gave me the chance to observe over and over how one child’s project would lead to another child’s project - there was a chain of inspiration as each child put their own unique spin on a project, gave it their own personal touch. The kids were genuine in their admiration of each other and were open to being inspired by each other's creative endeavors.

Todd replied, "Exactly. You know, being a fan is one of the most important things we can be as humans, as well as being interested and really being able to be thrilled for someone else’s beautiful effort. You know, we perhaps all have some moments of jealousy or wistfulness, but if you can really be a fan and honestly admire others, that’s a wonderful attribute."

Really being thrilled for someone else's beautiful effort.

(And that right there is just one of the many reasons why I think Todd Oldham has been someone I've admired for a long time.)

When was the last time you were really thrilled for someone else's beautiful effort?

That's not an easy thing for some adults, and I know sometimes it isn't easy for me, to just look or listen and admire and to not be jealous that I didn't create it or come up with the idea first.

Yet kids, especially young kids, seem to find it simple to be a fan of someone else, to genuinely be happy for them and their creativity or ingenuity.

Kids are awesome that way.

Yes, jealousy can crop up from time to time, but overall young kids genuinely admire others in their creative endeavors.

I see this play out with my own children on a daily basis. One of them will be hanging out at the craft table, drawing or cutting and gluing and happily creating away.

 Pretty soon I'll be hearing things like, "Cool!" and "let me try that" and before you know it imitation is playing out as the best form of flattery and there will be one or two other versions of the original creative project - the chain of inspiration.

My kids are genuine fans of each other. If I can figure out how to nurture that love and admiration, to allow them to take that ability to be a fan with them into adulthood, I'll be a happy parent.

The world needs more fans, more people who know how to set jealousy aside and really appreciate someone else's beautiful effort.

We could learn a lot from our kids in this regard.

When was the last time you were genuinely thrilled for someone else's beautiful effort?