On Freedom

Here in the United States, tomorrow is Independence Day. The day on which we celebrate this country, built on the great principle of freedom.

It’s an incredible thing.

Now obviously, America’s Independence Day celebrates societal freedom. A state of being that inherently comes with certain limitations that enable the greatest freedom for the greatest number of people while maintaining relative safety and stability. So it’s self-contradictory to some degree, since this kind of freedom MUST have limits to function.

And that’s okay. Creatively, we thrive on limits.

Without the limits, we wouldn’t have the security we need to reflect on and play with ideas. And we wouldn’t have the protections we need to share them, even when they’re controversial. There’s a reason that the historic hotspots for innovation have been places of wealth, stability and diversity.

Appropriately, another key piece of America’s independence was the revolutionary spirit. Now this is something creatives know about.

The greatest creative work crosses boundaries and breaks rules. Monet painted in tiny dots when others were striving for realism. Elvis broke waves over an entire society by singing “black” music. Banksy broke laws and “defaced” public property to make statements.

Without the limitations, creativity has nothing to break. And nothing to fix.  Two things creativity thrives on.  Limits are our playground.

The careful balance of rebellion and accepted limits—two sides of the same coin. However you spin it, they are come together into critical pieces that allow us to thrive, as a country and as individuals.

Happy Independence Day.


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