I’m not ashamed to admit that I have some fairly impressive friends in the creativity department. From artists who work in the more traditional mediums of music, oil on canvas, or pen and paper to those capable of constructing unbelievably beautiful objects entirely from recycled materials or functional items re-tasked to serve a new purpose unintended by the original manufacturer. I even have an Emmy Award winning Visual Effects Technical Supervisor and Independent Transmedia Producer in my stable of buddies, which is amazing even though I have no idea what either a Visual Effects Technical Supervisor or Independent Transmedia Producer does. But I do know that it’s highly creative and technical and pretty damn cool.
Creativity comes in many forms, but I most appreciate that which is driven by necessity. For example, one of my friends needed a dress form and fashioned one out of a hospital IV pole, old clothes, duct tape and some expanding foam sealant. As she said herself, “Not bad for under $20 bucks!” I think she’s being modest – I’m completely amazed.
But finding a creative solution to a problem is not something reserved only for those who make their living as artists. My niece recently gave me a glimpse into her own inventiveness when she told me how she used a string of Christmas lights as an extension cord for her mobile phone. Not only was she able to charge her phone and talk at the same time, but her solution was somehow able to repair the previously inoperative lights.
I’ve seen inspiration in the cockpit when flying night freight in the form of requesting reroutes, altitude changes, short approaches and other help from Air Traffic Control in order to meet deadlines, as well as steep descents and fast approaches intended to assist ATC in maintaining their flow and easing their workload. I’ve also seen an entire fleet of aircraft diverted to a base without sufficient personnel to handle the unloading, sorting and reloading of all the cargo. Not only did every last pilot chip in and help get the job done, they had to employ a considerable amount of ingenuity to do it.
Everyone, everywhere has had to be creative to solve some kind of problem at least once in their lives; from the parent helping their child with homework to the theoretical physicist researching dark matter, we all have the capacity for innovation. And that is what impresses me the most about humanity – our imaginations are truly boundless.