Everyday Creativity


What is creativity? Is it a force? An innate capacity? A planned process? Who has access to creativity and who does not? Ruth Richards, leading creativity researcher and editor of Everyday Creativity argues against the notion of exclusive creativity, saying instead that creativity is a universal ability, accessible to everyone, an innate ability with the capacity to make our lives happier and more fulfilling, an ability that unfortunately for most of us falls by the wayside or is regrettably underutilized and underdeveloped. Richards states, “Everyday creativity is about everyone, throughout our lives, and fundamental to our very survival. It is how we find our lost child, get enough to eat, make our way in a new place and culture…With our everyday creativity, we adapt flexibly, we improvise, we try different options, whether we are raising a child, counseling a friend, fixing our home, or planning a fundraising event.”


To illustrate this, Richards gathers together in Everyday Creativity a provocative collection of essays; an interdisciplinary group of eminent thinkers and writers who offer their thoughts on how embracing creativity—tapping into the “originality of everyday life”—can lead to improved physical and mental health, to new ways of thinking, of experiencing the world and ourselves. They show how creativity can refine our views of human nature at an individual and societal level and, ultimately, change our paradigms for survival—and for flourishing—in a world fraught with urgent challenges. Neither a dry treatise nor a manual, this anthology draws upon the latest research in the area to present a lively examination of the phenomenon and process of everyday creativity and its far-reaching ramifications for self, culture, history, society, politics, and humankind’s future. 2007. 328 pages. Hardcover


Far from being trivial, or light and fluffy, or strictly constrained to special domains and only intermittently of relevance, our everyday creativity represents a pervasive and dynamic way of being and knowing, and of encountering the world. If it offers profound and sometimes painful new insights at the same time as it brings us delight, healing and new purpose, growth and ongoing potential for personal development. Let us not give up our creative birthright, or let it lie hidden, when our everyday creativity offers new life and hope for each of us in a troubled world. Ruth Richards Everday Creativity p48


Book Review  Lauren S. Seifert