The Accidental Creative podcast ends each of it’s episodes by saying, “Cover bands don’t change the world, you must find your unique voice…” I really like this quote and I think it’s very apt for the society we’re currently living in.
I pay attention to two totally different worlds. One is the online creative space full of entrepreneurs, bloggers, podcasters, and artists. These are people who are doing some very forward thinking, creative stuff. The other world is my local community and specifically it’s youth. As a martial arts instructor and a youth ministry worker I interact with kids a lot. To me it seems that the vast majority of today’s youth wish to be cover bands.
Cover bands are great! You get to relive some of your favorite songs over and over again but they don’t create anything new. They help you live in the past. Many of our youth today are doing the same thing. All they want to do is find someone to model because modeling is safe. It’s safe to be what someone else has already proven as acceptable its much more dangerous to be yourself.
I find it interesting because locally with youth I see a lot of cover bands, with a few exceptions but on the other hand I see this vast group of original thinkers and world changers online. There are people of every age (many young) who are doing some very creative and inspiring things online. Then you turn and see a kid who watches 8 hours of YouTube a day eating Cheetos.
What I hope to do through my teaching (in all it’s forms) is to inspire people to be original and creative. The world doesn’t need more of the same old thing, it needs each person’s unique input. God didn’t design us to hide our gifts and abilities he gave them to us so that we could do amazing things with them.
This leads me to wondering how you inspire people to do these things. Somehow my brother and I have always been ones to mess around and try new things whether it’s make movies, create websites, or record podcasts. We’ve always enjoyed being on the front end of creating, especially when technology was involved.
I think to cultivate creativity you first have to give people the confidence that they can do it, or the confidence to try it and know that if they fail it’s not a big deal. They have to feel like making mistakes are good, that they can’t really do anything creative without failure and so it’s to be expected. Second, you have to encourage them to do hard things. Being creative isn’t easy, if it was than everyone would be doing it. I think over the last generation or so we’ve lost our sense of adventure and that’s essential to being original and creative. We have to teach our youth that risk and adventure are good things when done with some amount of wisdom.
I’m not sure about you, but I’d love to see a generation of world changers rather than a generation of cover bands!