The many things that inspire me to be creative: nature, people, good books, and beautiful places.
I was born and raised in New York State. I hated the snow, and because of this, I moved to Florida where the sun shines nearly every day. I love to create beautiful things whether it be through crafting or writing. Nature, beautiful or historic towns, and people are my inspirations.
In a time when society in both America and Europe were experiencing economic growth and the pursuit of wealth, there was also a rise in spirituality. Maugham presents a sense of superficial elitism when he first introduces Elliott Templeton who is as snobbish as one gets. We then meet Isabel, Elliott’s niece who has been raised to expect a high standard of living. She embraces this superficial outlook and rejects Larry because of his lack of social conformity. Out of all the characters in The Razor’s Edge Elliott is by far the best representation of the elitist mindset of that period in American and European society. Continue reading “American and European Society in The Razor’s Edge”→
What should we do now that the year 2017 is over and 2018 has begun? We harvest the ripened crops of course. Then, we plant more seeds for the future. As I take the time to reflect on the past year, I see my successes and my failures. I thrived in some areas and fell short in others. This is where the lessons are learned. However, lessons are not learned if we have closed our mind’s eye to the act of learning those lessons.
There is no special formula for being human. Therefore, there is no special formula for the “humanities.” The humanities are exclusive to us. What we create is of our minds and driven by needs and wants. Whether it be a fictional story, a robot, a painting or a poem; it is from us. The term “We’ve come a long way” is a testament to the humanities. We’ve tried, we’ve failed, we’ve learned the hard lessons. Technology is born out of the human mind and ingenuity. It is a shared experience of both success and failure. How could we improve upon our inventions without the humanities? We have loved ones across the country, and a hundred years ago the only way to see them was to travel (if we could). Now, however, through the thoughtfulness and critical thinking of the tech geeks, we can see and speak to our loved ones instantly via our phones, tablets, or computers. Being creative is being human. Being human is being creative. We, humans, are emotional creatures and we are driven by those emotions. Where is the value of our human existence if we ignore our own humanity? We wouldn’t have the conveniences we have today if we did not value ourselves or each other. Enriching lives through the creativity of our human mind is truly valuable.
Sometimes the things I want to do are superseded by lack of time. Over-ruled. Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate what is most important. New Year resolutions are common but shouldn’t we just call it what it should be called? The New Year re-evaluation of priorities. I plan on making a top ten list of things that are important and another top ten list of things that I desire to do. Then I will evaluate which are the top five on each list, combining those choices and create the new top ten priority list of 2018. Everything else will happen when they happen. After all, we are only able to do the things that we have time to do so we must re-evaluate our priorities.
Since the Holiday Season is upon us, I thought I’d contemplate on what it means to me. I’ve always preferred to give than to receive. However, receiving is an awesome feeling to me only when it is unexpected; a complete surprise. But, then, I feel sort of guilty for receiving. I know I shouldn’t feel that way. It is everyone’s God-given right to give. If I have the right to give than so does everyone else.
So, then in contemplating the act of receiving, I realized that I am also giving. I am giving another human being a chance to do something unselfish (or at least I hope it is a selfless act). The act of giving compliments the act of receiving and vice versa.
I remember one year when I was a young girl, my siblings, parents and myself were all sitting in our living room handing out presents and unwrapping them. Well, everyone else was unwrapping gifts, but I was just watching them. I never even gave a glance at the pile of gifts sitting before me to unwrap until my Mom said: “Jill, you have presents to unwrap too!” I was so startled by the fact that I forgot I had my own pile of beautiful gifts. I was happier watching everyone else’s happiness and excitement. To this day I am more excited watching everyone else as they unwrap their surprises.
Now that I am much older I enjoy the ambiance of our home and family gatherings as much as the giving of gifts. In fact, the gathering of family in and of itself is a gift. A gift that I enjoy more than ever.
To all of you who enjoy the act of giving please remember to enjoy the act of receiving.