What Does It Mean to Be Creative?

In a general sense, every human being is creative. This trait is not always flashy. Often it’s not called by its true name. But when you take the stuff of life and rearrange it so that it matters, so that it does good things, you’re acting creatively. At those times when you are breaking a sweat to make life work better, you are most like the God who created you. You don’t have to come up with a new idea in order to be creative. All you have to do is find an old idea and apply it to a new moment or group of people, a new problem or situation.

And so creativity is at work in the parent of preschoolers who must come up with ways of occupying their exuberance for hours, even days, on end. It is also at work in the entrepreneur who can make a buck before she even has a buck. Likewise, the person at the office or the church who never misses an opportunity to make a program or system more effective is exercising creativity. And it’s alive and well in the guy who, like my late father, works at a factory job all day and then comes home to tend a garden.


– from “The Soul Tells a Story: Engaging Creativity with Spirituality in the Writing Life” by Vinita Hampton Wright Loyola Press