I usually write fiction and recently many of the magazines that publish stories, poems, and art have been using the term “creatives” as a way of referring to themselves and their contributors. The term doesn’t sit well with me; it sounds elitist, and divides people into two parts, implying that somehow – we the creatives, are different, better.
While the term does have some validity, at least in my case, it’s more like hard work and a good editor. It’s the editor that takes what I write and moves it to the next level, one that at least gets by a high school English teacher without being totally marked with red. I feel more like a slugger, someone who’s willing to keep at the task in the hope of getting it right someday.
I tried to think of a word with which I could be happier, one that would be more inclusive and indeed invite others in, and at the same time appropriate for “creatives.”
“Sensitive” occurred to me. When I’m writing “in the zone,” I feel as if the story is writing itself, it’s when I’m aware of what’s happening with all the people in the narrative – their struggles and the struggles going on around them. In other words, I’m sensitive to what’s happening. I like that description; it’s nothing new. Readers have referred to poets as having “a sensitive soul” before.
But if we make it into a noun, talk about “sensitives,” then this can be more inclusive, and perhaps we can learn from it, especially in these times of divisiveness, hate, and violence.
Interestingly enough this is also a time when people are reaching out and showing generosity to others as attested by the number of successful appeals posted on sites like Go Fund Me, Kickstart, and others. Even Facebook provides functionality for a charitable birthday appeal. And almost all of these seem to meet their goals well before the posted target date.
That tells me that there are a lot of sensitives in the USA! And one thing we can all do is to be –more sensitive!
Think about it.
Almost everyone will chip in for a friend’s birthday or remember a spouse or family member on special occasions – a gift or dinner out. If we have a pet, we stop, scratch behind the ear, make sure they have enough food or water. We know how to be sensitive.
Imagine a big target, posted down range. “Set your sights on SENSITIVE” is printed across the bottom. It’s the usual bull’s eye; a red circle is in the center. There’s a key printed in small letters down the side, points for hitting closer to the center. The outer circle is 20, the center is 100, and you get 10 if you hit the target.
So does your spouse get the 100? What about your dog? Kids (including teenagers) – where would they be on the target?
We’ll be firing WORDS and ACTIONS, not scoped-out AR-15s or sniper rifles.
My rules for the scoring. It’s a bit counter-intuitive. I’m hoping we’d all be nice to spouses and pets. Teenagers and in-laws – that’s moving closer to the center. Get the picture? Usually, we’re nice to family and friends – that’s the target sheet. Be nice, score 10 points.
So who is worth the 100 points in the center? People not like us – different skin color, religion, language. Dead center are those we think we hate.
So what’s for ammo? What are we firing?
Kindness, Smiles, Consideration, Charity, etc. Different ammo for different engagements. I’m sure you can come up with your own custom loads depending on the situation.
You’re welcome to use spotters, tell you which way the wind is blowing.
The shooting range is called, “Being Human.” Now load up on kindness and smiles and go practice. Good shooting!