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History is full of stories of poets, artists, musicians--creative people of all types--who were marginalized and often struggled to survive day-to-day, let alone see fame and fortune.

So perhaps creativity is not as widely recognized, admired, and rewarded as we like to believe.

And it's not just the great artists who have been unappreciated in their time. Ordinary people, those with whom you rub shoulders every day, have experienced being disparaged for their creative insights.

Truth is, most people are far more comfortable with the status quo. Creative flashes of insight, off-the-wall thinking, unusual life styles are threatening to that comfortable rut.

How often I've seen creative exploration in children shunted off into the tried-and-true.

"No, dear, we don't build houses out of crayons; we draw with them."

"Never wear plaids with something striped."

"Get a real job; whoever heard of supporting yourself as an astrologer?"

"Women don't fly airplanes."

There's an instinct that says the familiar is safe and different is risky, therefore wrong, threatening the safety of all of us. That instinct runs counter to recognizing and adopting creative efforts, solutions. Instinct. It has nothing to do with logic.

I admire the people who live on the fringe; whose edgy viewpoints urge us to think, to reconsider our 9-to-5 existence, to stretch our wings and fly, just once before we die.

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