I Am Jealous of Rob Bell: thoughts on creativity

I can still remember the first time I saw a Nooma video by Rob Bell. It was in a church service, and the video was "Trees". I cannot even tell you what the video was about because all I could think was something along the lines of, "Ahhhhh crap! I could have done that!" All I could think of for the entirety of the video was that it really is a great idea, and it is TOTALLY something I could have done.

I really liked seeing Bradley Hathaway do what he does as a traveling poet. I would mention him to my brother a few winters ago and my brother acted unimpressed and nearly cynical at Bradley Hathaway's art. I listened to my brother rant for a short time before I said, "Wait! Do you not like Bradley Hathaway because he's doing something you could have done, but he thought of it before you?"

He thought for a second and humbly surrendered, "Yeah....I think that may be it."

Unless a speaker or writer really really impresses me or makes me think differently than I had before I heard them, I am generally dismissive of them as a speaker and author. Two things I have not pursued or gone after! But something in me is dismissive and unimpressed.

This thing within is jealousy. Jealousy is basically a part of you that is convinced there can only be one of something, and you are not that one.

The problem lies in that most things can have more than one of them. It is possible for there to be more than one artist within whatever artistry you pursue. But that part of you that gets FRUSTRATED when someone else accomplishes something you know you can do is jealousy.

Jealousy is the belief that there is only room for one.

As I reflected on that today, I get frustrated with the jealousy within me because it has debilitated me from moving toward the things I know I can do.


Who are you most jealous of recently?