Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Telescopes that Might be Spaceships

Last weekend (as usual) I spent quality time with my gorgeous (and very entertaining) children. They are at that great age where they are constantly asking "why" to things we take for granted.  They gleefully fill the house with bits of trash that are of (in their eyes) monumental importance, and find mission-critical uses for those bits of packaging you'd rather they got rid of.

So when I started to clear some of this away, my five year old panicked and stopped me recycling a cardboard tube that has been taped to some other bits of yoghurt carton and the like. He had clearly abandoned it but when I challenged him to either finish the spaceship, of chuck it into the recycling (yes - bad daddy...), he said, with all the confidence of a senior design engineer, "that telescope - see? It might be a spaceship. Or a sword. So I need it..."

As we get older we lose that natural creativity. The lack of partitions in our lives at the age of 6 means we connect things and their uses in a way that would make us expert problem solvers later in life.. The fact that nothing needs to be "finished" or signed off, means that we can keep innovating to see what else comes out of it.

Sometimes, I look through past projects and see if I would do it the same way today, or even if I can see an opportunity to rekindle a conversation about the work.  We forget that just because the invoice gets paid, the conversation doesn't have to stop there.

I long for the creativity of Innocence. Having kids allows you glimpse it now and again, for which I am truly thankful.

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