As I reflect on Thanksgiving, I am surveying all the blessings and opportunities for which I am thankful. At the top of my list of blessings this season are my family, good friends, health, freedom, and the opportunity to do work I love. I give thanks as well for the sacrifice made by all of our Service Members who are oversees away from their families and living in dangerous, unpredictable, and uncomfortable environments.
In addition to these blessings and opportunities, I am also grateful for the creativity of others that has made my life richer, more comfortable, and more meaningful. I’ve decided to make a list of the Top Ten Creative Ideas for which I’m grateful. Here are five from my Top Ten list – in no special order, and I hope you will contribute some of the top creative ideas on your list as well:
- The Airplane – Thank you Orville and Wilbur! The airplane has allowed me to travel all over the world and see cultures, wonders of nature, and peoples that have opened my mind and my eyes to the glories of our planet. In my travels, I have learned that the peoples of the earth are so diverse in the customs, dress, language, and foods…but so similar in the hopes and aspirations. Love of family and a positive response to a smile are universal. The airplane has also allowed me – way back in the years when I was a flight attendant – to have an encounter with a dashing pilot, who has now been my husband for over thirty years!
- Penicillin – Thank you, Alexander Fleming! (and thanks to other scientists, including Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain, who took Fleming’s work and turned it into safe and usable medicine.) Like many of you out there, both my son and I have survived dreadful cases of bacterial pneumonia. We might not have been here to give thanks if it weren’t for the wonderful medical advance of antibiotics.
- Sony Walkman – According to Sony promotional materials, I have Japanese engineer Nobutoshi Kihara to thank for this one! I’ll never forget the first time I heard music through the earphones of a Walkman on a long transcontinental night flight. The discovery that I could experience music – mood-altering, action-motivating, mind-expanding music! – in such fidelity and take it with me wherever I went was a gift for which I have been continually thankful. Thank you also to Mozart, Gershwin, Stevie Wonder, John Williams, John Lennon, and many others, for composing the music that stirs the heart and mind.
- The printing press – Thank you Gutenberg! Before this creative idea, only the very wealthy were able to acquire knowledge in the form of books. But Gutenberg’s invention allowed us all to become literate and educated. What a privilege it is to live in an age where we have access through writing to so many minds that came before us. Just walk into any book store and savor the access we have to the thoughts and ideas of others via books. And I can’t tell you what a thrill it is to see my own book (entitled Your Creative Brain – for those of you who have somehow managed to get to this blog without knowing about it!) sitting on the book shelves as well!
- French Impressionist paintings – Thank you Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh (okay, he wasn’t French) for introducing this art form in which color dominates over line. Your work – even the cheesy reprints on my eyeglass case, umbrella, and insulated lunch box – has brought me many hours of happy contemplation!
Again, please add comments with the creative ideas that have contributed to your enjoyment and appreciation of life. And have a safe and Happy Holiday Season!