I’ve been having this idea recently that our species, Homo sapiens – the thinking man, is misnamed. Instead, Homo creatus – the creating man is more appropriate.
Now before any biology geeks jump down my throat, I am sure that creatus is not the proper Latin or Greek or whatever. Fine, have it your way.
The point is that more than thinking, creating new things is the defining characteristic of our species.
Now that we aren’t living in the 18th century and some of our conceit has worn off, we know that animals think to varying degrees. We know that chimpanzees have a theory of mind. Chimp A will not sound an alarm to Chimp B if Chimp A knows Chimp B already knows about it. That’s a lot of thinking and knowing!
So what really separates us from our near-cousin primates and other higher animals generally?
My contention is that our drive to create is our truly defining talent.
Side note: I’ll let the theologians and atheists argue about whether we were created in our Creator’s image as creators or if we created a Creator because we create.
I can hear the objections already though. “I’m not creative.” “Not everyone is like that.”
Nonsense! It took me a long time to realize that everyone creates things in their own ways.
My wife is creative in the traditional sense. She’s a writer and she literally dreams sci-fi. She will wake up in the morning and tell me whole story lines she dreamed in the night.
For me, that’s never going to happen. I don’t invent new completely new things like she does. But I create in my own way. I create business systems and ways of explaining things to people that they can understand easily.
Everyone creates something. Even the proto-typical Joe Sixpack creates rituals around his favorite sports teams.
These creations are how we express ourselves. And they are as individual as we are.
What do you create in your life?