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How do you use your creativity?

By SHELBURNE FERGUSON • Oct 22, 2018 at 12:00 AM

I am prompted to write today about creativity,  art, culture, imagination, innovation and resources.

Some of you are aware that Tom Borrup was in Kingsport to share with many of us his expertise of “How to Transform Communities Using Local Assets, Art and Culture.” For you to learn more about Borrup’s abilities, I quote from a section of his book, “The Creative Community Builder’s Handbook,” Published by Fieldstone Alliance, Copyright 2005: “Borrup has been a leader and innovator in nonprofit and community development work for over 25 years. His consulting, writing and teaching explore intersections between culture, art, community building, civic engagement, urban design, town planning and the active use of public space.”

Since the greater Kingsport community is noted for its significant history, artistic talents, cultural interchange and civic pride, the working knowledge of Borrup was and is extremely valuable to our future progress as we join our neighbors together to focus on our community’s future. If you want to be more knowledgeable of how Borrup has made many communities across America more livable, his book is available from Amazon and worth the reading.

As you can see from the title of this column, I point out we all have creativity. Let me point out several sources for this statement even though some of you don’t believe that you have a creative nature. Assuming you believe the Bible, the first book in the Bible begins in the first sentence of Genesis with the following: “In the beginning God created the heaven and earth.” Later in the same first chapter of Genesis God noted “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the ground. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” While the Hebrew word that is translated as “Image” in the above translation, the Hebrew according to some translators means the “Nature” of man is like unto God from this phrase. From my experience, it seems man and woman have the ability to be creative to a degree by using their mind to produce (create) some things from their minds and hands.

Allow me to turn to a way you and I can learn or improve our natural creative skills. Dr. Tina Seelig is the Director of the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation at Stanford University which is Located 35 miles south of San Francisco, 20 miles north of San Jose, in the heart of Northern California’s Silicon Valley. There are other outstanding professors at Stanford who have written excellent books and provided videos that are accessible to us.

Dr. Seelig has written InGenius: “A Crash Course on Creativity” HarperOne © 2012 and equally valuable to the reader is her best-seller “What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20: A Crash Course on Making Your Place in the World.” Harper One, © 2009. When I checked this book for the publishing info, I discovered that I had written the following (believe it or not) on the inside cover: “My goal is to teach people that they are creative; that they can use that creativity to solve problems and fulfill needs that can often change the world.” In addition, Dr. Seelig has several videos of her teaching the various issues of becoming a creative person. The following are a few of her videos and can be seen by posting the following website addresses on your computer:





I recommend you watch these Seelig videos with other people who are curious as well about becoming more creative. Working together rather than alone is a better way to challenge each other to being committed to learning as much as you possibly can about creativity and its pursuit.

Mr. Ferguson is a Kingsport  attorney. You can reach him at: 423/246-3132.

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