You have less control over your environment and the environment in which your children grow than you think. The variables are infinite. For two weeks I’m writing about Creativity’s Terrain and the variables you can control. Yesterday I wrote about the Value of Solitude for Children.
My car swerved, ever-so-slightly, towards The Neurosciences Institute as I drove by this morning. I’d love to chat with Nobel laureate Gerald Edelman about how consciousness really works. But my race car’s full of children and we’re headed to art classes. I may not get to speak to Dr.Edelman today, or in the foreseeable future. But I can read his books and mix my own memories and ideas with his.
Eighteenth-Century philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau said,
I hate books; they only teach us to talk about things we know nothing about.
That is precisely why books foster Creativity. A book gives unlimited access to the mind of another.
Rousseau was right in that, when you read, you learn to talk of things you could not have in the past. But he was also wrong, because when you read, you learn. Another French philosopher, Ernest Renan had it right. He said,
The simplest schoolboy is now familiar with truths for which Archimedes would have sacrificed his life.
Highly Creative people revel in ideas. Read and read some more, because books are the bed on which ideas mate.