Those Who Dare Greatly

How do we help students move from the sidelines and into the arena of creativity?

One of my favorite quotes comes from Theodore Roosevelt:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

In our current times, it is easy to sit on the sidelines offering only comments and critiques of other people's work or contributions. Everyone has many opnions and social media has made it easy for us to share every thought. It makes the fear of pushing something new or different out into the world greater. 

For our students, they have those same fears. "What will people say? How will they react to this creative risk that I'm taking? What if they don't like it?" Here at CSI, we work to give students many opportunities to build, to make, to create, to design, and to share. We help them with feedback skills, both in how to give feedback and how to recieve feedback, so that the risk seems less scary. This is a critical piece as they learn to understand the difference between feedback and comments. 

Here is a great piece from A.J. Juliani, speaking to the idea that creating is greater than commenting. It is something we embrace here at CSI and we strive to help our students develop their creative confidence so they can enter the arena, rather than just sit on the sidelines.