“Creative Solutions to Life’s Challenges”
Frank X. Walker launches his written endeavor in firm belief that “what we often call survival skills is simply creativity at work.” Reminiscing about his childhood growing up in a financial pinch, he mentions his mother’s creativity in the kitchen, her make-shift toy construction, and expertise behind a sewing machine in support of his opening statement. He then draws inspiration from memories of a childhood art experience he had at the neighborhood Baskin Robbins ice cream shop to earn free ice cream, which led him to follow up with the belief that creativity in any form is a major determinant of our happiness and outlook on life.
I chose this essay because I also believe that creativity is a powerful asset to our existence and survival. The majority of the argument is structured around his background, coming from the projects, where creative expression took on a whole new meaning. His mother always told him that “idle hands and minds were the devil’s workshop,” fully living up to her words. From her career in the floral and interior design industry to the delicacies concocted from what little resources she could afford to feed seven children, she is the definition of “creativity at work.” He stressed that “every day, our streets and school buses become art galleries in the form of perfectly spiked hair, zigzagging cornrows and dizzying shoelace artistry.” The style of Frank’s word choice really strengthens his argument because it is unique to his persona. Towards the end of the paper, a piece that ties in with creative survival techniques involves his past as a victim of bullying. Walker used the power of words as his weapon to get past the situation rather than violence.
Walker’s essay relates to the issues and concerns of our class because just as art and creativity have a very broad definition, public life entertains many roles in which we craft our own means of day to day operation. It does not matter whether we are at the height of civic engagement, or just an average citizen; what matters is that we are comfortable in our own skin and can live for the moment without getting caught up in the pressures of today’s society.