When I was six-years old, I entered a creative writing competition that the local kids newspaper, La Prensa, was having called “El Pollito” (the chick). I decided to enter my story, which I wrote in Spanish since at the time my family and I were living in Panama. This is the English translation, word-for-word:
The Giant Vegetable
A long time ago when dinosaurs existed, giant vegetables ate the dinosaurs so that’s why dinosaurs don’t exist anymore. So the king said “we’ll need to wait until the humans appear. Then we’ll make ourselves small and when humans buy us at markets, we will go back to our normal size and we’ll eat them!! Ha Ha Ha Ha!!” So when the humans existed, the fighting began. So when the king made himself small, Fred bought him. When Fred was taking him, the king was not able to make himself big. Fred cut him in small pieces and gave his daughter a piece of the arm and she ate it. And from that day on all children that eat vegetables will be strong because vegetables used to be strong because they ate healthy and strong dinosaurs. So if you eat a vegetable you’ll be strong like a dinosaur. Good luck eating those vegetables!
Even at six-years old, my mind was definitely creative beyond its years. No wonder everyone says we should eat more veggies – they ate dinosaurs for goodness sake! Jeez, if only everyone ate their vegetables then I’m sure we’d all be much stronger than the dinosaurs by now.
I even used a pen name, which I find kind of surprising, except I stole it from my brother since he didn’t want to participate in the competition. I didn’t win the competition, which is total BS, but whatever – I’m posting it here as it deserves its moment to ‘shine’.
Word of advice: if you still have some things from when you were little, try and find them or ask your close friends/family if they have anything. Seeing something that you made many years ago can really help you understand the value of the small things in life.
Also, as kids, many of us had the opportunity of being as creative as we wanted to be, and to understand the person we were becoming. So a lot of things we’ve done then can actually inspire you today if you’re having a mind block. Even just looking back at old photos might help you take a break from this hectic and busy life that our society wants us to have.
Don’t feel ashamed to take pride in all your accomplishments, in your failures, or in taking time for yourself. If you want to just be creative for a bit and write what’s on your mind, or have a lazy day or couple of days, go for it. Why the hell not? Even if you don’t make it now, who knows if down the line, it all comes together. And what if what was deemed as failure then, might become one of the best things you ever did, regardless of what others may have thought?
What If is a website that has a smilier idea. It explores absurd hypothetical questions asked by children, adults, and even elders, that are answered with realistic science. This site brings about the joy of having absurd questions but being provided with serious scientific answers. For example: How many fireflies would it take to match the brightness of the Sun?
Be as creative as you want to be, and bring in the knowledge that will enlighten you more on that idea. The Wright brothers dreamed of flying but were mocked when they said they would make this happen. They brought in the science, and now we have planes. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘what if we were equal’ dream sounded absurd to many, but it changed the world. And a simple apple that hit the head of Isaac Newton while sitting under a tree created the curiosity and creativity of discovering something called gravity.
Having the creative mind of a six-year old, asking questions, and being genuinely interested about something but adding on the enhanced and experienced knowledge that you’ve acquired over the years might be the answer to a lot of our problems today. Something to think about…
But before you do any of this: go eat your vegetables!
And if you’re funky and wanna try something new, why not try a cocktail made with greens?