Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Caring for What We Create

I saw this project on twitter this afternoon and fell in love. What a great way to mesh the creativity of both a parent and a child. I liked it so much that I went looking for my old portfolio to see if I had anything that would work. Couldn't find it. I vaguely remember throwing it out during one of my de-cluttering binges. I figured I wasn't going to do anything with it anyway. It was mostly just sketches from a couple classes I took to finish my art minor while I was pregnant with Emma. But oh, the symbolism that could have been there with her completing something I had started while she was growing inside me. Saaaad. I wish I had shown more care for what I had created, even if it was just some silly drawings.

This evening, I got thinking about the care that should be given to what we create.

Matt's uncle came over for the second time to look at some problems we're having with our house. The walls are leaking, growing mold and destroying our wood floors. Now, I understand, this is part of owning your own home. There's going to be things you'll have to fix. Stuff breaks. It happens. But with our house, there's a couple things about this particular situation that just really bother me. From what it seems, it's due to poor craftmanship that wasn't limited to our house. Rumor has it that several homes in the neighborhood have had the same problem. I remember being shocked by how quickly our neighborhood went from a handful of houses to stuffed full in a matter of months. I also remember being in the office listening to a sales person push people to spend more than what they were comfortable paying. But hey, as long as the product sells, who cares what happens afterwards? The foreclosed houses and unkept yards didn't effect them. So up the houses went. Quickly.

If this was our first problem, it wouldn't be a big deal, but our first issue was even worse. We had Chinese drywall, which essentially meant our walls released toxic gasses. Really great for the health of our children. Yes, it was "made right" and fixed but not without signing papers saying we wouldn't sue for their negligence. And negligence it was, as this was a good year after builders realized their materials could be tainted.

So here we are again, with our back wall literally crying when it rains, growing mold that once again, doesn't effect the builder, but the lungs of my small children. So thank you, to the powers that be, for caring more about profit than people. Because let's just be honest about it. Yes, I understand that you are a large company. But question, why can't we get it through our heads that bigger does not necessarily mean better? The health of an organization is not necessarily in it's growth if that means you can't care well for those in front of you.

It's not that I wish my first home was custom built. Not at all. I just wish that there was care put into building it. I wish there was pride in workmanship. Mostly, I wish my greedy little eyes hadn't looked for the most house for the least amount of money but instead looked for a well-loved house with a history.

This has been a reminder for me in some big picture concepts:

1. What you do effects everyone around you. 
Wow. This has been huge lately. Another post in itself because it extends to all aspects of life, but for this, we'll stick with our work. Or simply what we create. We have opportunity to add beauty to the lives of those around us. We are responsible for each other. Act like it. Live like what you do isn't just about you. Or your wallet. Our selfish actions have consequences, even when it seems it's only about self, it's not.

2. Take pride in what you do as a creator/creative being.
See your God-given abilities as gifts from God and regift the heck out of them. We are all created with a purpose. Gift the world and serve as you are uniquely made to do. Don't be lazy with what you've been given and don't get all puffed up about it either. Recognize yourself as the work of an incredible Creator and get creative yourself. Take joy in creativity.

3. Buy local.
This is a huge source of so many of our problems. When those selling to us have no connection to us, and when life spins around the economy, when choices of saving money or caring for people come up, most will choose the dollar over a mass of nameless faces. How else can we possibly explain the fact that we still buy chocolate harvested by children and wear clothes made under slave labor? And I admit, I am still guilty of this. Evidently, this extends beyond just our food and small products, too. When we think locally, it's about relationships. It is much more difficult to not care about the welfare of someone with whom you have looked in the eye.

Finally, I want my children to reach their full creative potential, but not at the expense of others. I pray that they become wise little creators who learn how to love others with the gifts they've been given and not use people for their own gain. I pray that making money is not what drives them the most. I pray that they never sacrifice relationships to chase their dreams or use their creative abilities in ways that hurt others, knowingly or not. 

No comments: