Nurturing hope and creativity in a chaotic world

Nurturing hope and creativity in a chaotic world

It’s that time of year again when we begin to prepare to launch The January Challenge. It is the time of year when I marvel not only at my team’s skill and expertise in crafting something beautiful but, more than ever, the multitude of amazing creativity champions, collaborators, organisations and individuals that contribute to making something so exciting, collaborative, and so magical.

 

It’s also the time of year, certainly for the last 3 or 4 years, when I think, ‘In a world facing so many difficult challenges, is this what people need?’ There is so much difficulty and pain facing so many people on a micro level in their personal lives, on a systemic level in their workplaces and political systems, and on a global level in the conflict, huge injustices, poverty and mistreatment of people that is hard to hold alongside our daily lives. Is there room for creativity?

 

 

But it also has to be the time of year when I am most renewed in our values, in our mission and our belief in people and the world. It reminds me that nurturing creativity is the most important thing we can do. The world is a difficult place to be right now, and for most of us, changing the way the world works feels way beyond our reach. It can feel exasperating, exhausting, and demoralising to look at our place in the world and think, what can we do? But when I stop systemically thinking about the world and instead think of the individual people I see around me and further afield, I feel hope.

I feel hope at the people speaking up and standing up against injustice, hope at the people making a small gesture of kindness to the person next to them on the bus

I feel hope at the people speaking up and standing up against injustice, hope at the people making a small gesture of kindness to the person next to them on the bus, at the person taking a small step in learning something new, in the parent admitting it's too tough and asking for help, in two people finding common ground when they thought there was none.

 

It is almost impossible for most of us to change a system from the top down. But we can change a system one relationship at a time. One idea at a time. One moment of holding hope over despair. And that’s what I think creativity does for us. It gives us a moment to believe in something new and imagine how things can be different. And if we practice that skill, we can hold those moments for longer until they become real.

 

 

I am an optimist. A believer. Maybe to a fault, probably because my privilege has allowed me to trust and be rewarded in that trust. But I will keep believing in people and the power of people because for every person who wobbles my faith, 100 more renew it. The 50,000 plus people who take part in The January Challenge every year show me the power of creativity, of care, of compassion and vulnerability. I don’t think there is any time more important than now to be creative. To have better ideas about the world, to create connections with people and to motivate ourselves to have courage and keep going.

 

Sometimes, the smallest acts can be the thing that makes our day. And at the very least, we can hold onto the smallest things when the big stuff is too overwhelming to manage. So, 31 days of small things is what I need right now. And I wonder if you might, too. I hope you’ll join us.

Jo Hunter, Founder of 64 Million Artists

 

TJC 2024 banners (1)

Ready to take a journey and explore your creativity in 31 days?

The January Challenge is a way to explore your unique creativity in one month. 31 creative prompts in 31 days. Join thousands of people opening a creative prompt daily throughout January and see where it leads you!

Sign up for FREE today.

You'll receive our weekly newsletter and a daily creative prompt throughout January (you can change your preferences at any time).

Creativity is (horizontal)

free inspiration in your inbox

Join over 26,000+ and sign up for our free newsletter for creative prompts, competitions and inspiring interviews.

You'll receive our weekly newsletter and a daily creative prompt throughout January (you can change your preferences at any time).