I was sweeping my floor in my kitchen while my wife was cooking brunch a while back. I thought about my son growing his own kale garden outside and then picking some to bring in for brunch. I was thinking about creativity. I asked them what they thought that growing a garden did for humans and how it made us better? More creative?
Here's what they said and it blew my mind:
1. It Teaches Us Patience and Perseverance
There are few things in the world that take weeks or months to produce that we will literally consume in a 15 minute sitting. I'm sure people could argue that.
Although, think about the fact that you simply put a dead seed into the ground, water it and then stare at it day after day after day (me and my kids like to pet our plants and talk to them too). Now think about how (depending on how big your garden is) you could easily go out there and pick maybe a bowl full of vegetables for one meal. At least for me, that requires a level of value, respect and patience that most of the world does not have.
2. It Teaches Us About Care and Ultimately Self-Care
There is so much to consider when growing something. A plant. Another human. A project. A business. We all probably have at least one of these things that we are so passionate about that we would actually say, "I will sacrifice..." for it.
How many of us ever consider that we need this. That growing, sacrificing something actually feeds our soul or spirit or whatever that is inside of us.
3. It Teaches Us Flexibility and That Perfection Is Not the End-All.
It's easy to focus on the fact that half of my garden is actually dead right now. It's a challenge to accept that that is a portal for discovery and that over time I will learn more about the art of gardening. Perfectionism is something that plagues us all. All the time. Especially here in the west.
As a "process guy" I like to notice the small gems inside of "making stuff" and if you follow me then you realize that. But it's really true in this case. I could easily go to the store (and I do) and buy and carton of kale to eat. It's not about that. It's about teaching my kids these lessons. It's about connecting these skills to art. It's about realizing that making something is important.
I challenge you to notice the instances in your life where there might be lessons to learn. You can feel if there is. If you can't feel it then just ask someone else what they have learned and then teach other people about it like I'm doing right here.