Before we get started…….If you’d like to Ask the Guys a question don’t be shy. We answer any sort of relationship question. You can ask a General Question that will be considered for our Ask the Guys page or you can book a private conversation with THE GUYS by selecting the Ask a Private Question option. Read the Testimonials on our Relationship Coaching/Advice page.
From: “One of The Guys”
Creativity seems to be a lost art, and it’s only getting worse. Couples rely on movies and take out to fill the weekend nights. Kids power up their video games to be entertained and the rest of the world surfs the web to get a glimpse into the lives of others.
Am I different? Not completely! And it’s scaring me.
For a long time I stopped reading books. I didn’t have time with my babies being, um babies, so I resorted to magazines to keep up on my reading. Quick, fast, entertaining and easy! This past year I started reading books again and it took me a long time to actually figure out how to read a book. I’m totally serious. I actually forgot how to “see” it in my mind, keep the characters straight, and follow the plot. This was due to my learned, short attention span, and my lengthy hiatus from the world of creativity.
But I managed to get it back slowly, and now I’ve realized that creativity can be lost too. Great, another thing to worry about! And I especially worry about it with my kids. They are creative, but only when it’s easy to be creative. They haven’t learned how to cope with “boredom” because they lack the vision to create something from what’s perceived as nothing.
So what’s happened to creativity?
Are relationships failing because creativity has become a dying art?
What do you think?
The truth is, we don’t NEED to be creative anymore. We can get many of our needs met without doing much mental work at all. So what happens is we fall into a routine that slowly wears away our mental sharpness.
But where does this all start?
I’ll tell you where. It starts at a very young age. In fact, right at my house.
Let me start out by saying, I hate the Wii. We bought this video game system for our kids because they’d been begging for it for over a year. Not that their begging necessarily determines our actions. They’ve also begged for Pellet Guns, Guinea Pigs, Motorized Scooters and another sibling, for which they’ve gotten none.
Video Games have become part of “water cooler” talk in schools around the country, just like Pet Rocks, Smiley T shirts, Happy Days and Saturday Morning Cartoons were for me. We felt that it was important for our kids to be able to participate in those conversations, so we went ahead and told Santa to bring the Wii. We figured we could just limit it to weekends and that would be OK.
But here’s what’s happened.
It’s become the default game for them. And it seems to have drained them of all of their creativity.
Them: Dad, can we play the Wii?
Me: No, not right now. Think of something else to do.
Them: We’re bored. There’s nothing to do.
Me: Well, what did you do BEFORE you got the Wii?
Them: We can’t remember.
Them: We just want to play Wii.
Me: Didn’t I just say no?
So annoying. So I make them write a list of ten OTHER things they like to do. My oldest, who’s Mr. Make Believe has no problem with this. My daughter does it to please me. But my middle child. Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Him: Dad, I can’t think of anything.
Me: Really? Nothing? Really?
Him: No, I can’t think of anything.
Me: Do you want some help?
(Silence. I interpret this as a yes…..mistake…….so I start trying to help…..big mistake!)
Me: Well, what sports do you like?
Him: I don’t know.
Me: You like baseball. And basketball. Soccer. What about tennis?
Him: Dad!!!!!!!!!! Now I can’t use any of those things!
Me: What!!? Why?
Him: Because you said them already. Now I can’t use them.
Me: What are talking about!!?? Of course you can use them. You like them.
Him: No, I can’t use them and I’m not putting them down on the list.
(Silence. So I keep pushing it)
Me: What about music? You like to play the piano right?
Me: Fine, do it yourself. But you need to have five things written down before you do anything else. You hear me Mister?! (I’ve already caved from the ten things I originally said)
After twenty minutes he hands me the list. There are only two things on it.
Things I like to Do (His List)
1. Lie in Bed
2. Kind of read
I stare at this list. I think, “Oh my god, this took him twenty minutes to do?” I start panicking. “Now what kind of extra services is he going to need at school? He won’t be able to get past third grade.” I start sweating. “What’s happened to his creativity? Is it completely gone?”
Then I realize it. It hits me like a brick. The Wii has emptied the creativity out of my kids. No, I mean literally. These machines are evil. The truth is, the controllers the kids use are really electronic vacuums that suck all the creative juices out of whoever’s using them. These juices flow into the machine and back to the main headquarters. The gaming companies then use this creative energy to churn out more games and make more money. It’s pure genius!! But now I’m onto them.
So after pondering this epiphany I realize I still have my son to deal with.
So I tell him to go to his room, lie in bed and read.
He seemed to like that idea.
Finally I did something right. One of the firsts as his parent.
Now I need to devise my scheme to take down the video game companies. And that’s for another day.
So I ask you.
What’s happened to creativity?
Do you still get creative in your relationships? What kinds of things do you do to get creative? Bring it on!