“I was packing my things,” said Paolo Sbuttoni, telling a story about his daughter, who’s been coming to CREA with him since she was a bambino, “and I asked her, should I take my guitar?”
He explained how in previous years he’d put the guitar in its case, hauled it out to the car and taken it with him to Sestri Levante and once at CREA and it didn’t get further than the corner of his hotel room. He wondered if it was worth the effort and space to bring it this year.
“And then she gave the perfect answer. She said to me, ‘Why not?'”
Paolo shrugged in that very satisfied way that parents can, when they are both surprised and impressed by their children’s wisdom.
The question “why?” is one we’re more accustomed to. It’s a good question. It’s very useful. Asking it helps us understand something in deeper ways. It leads to further clarity. But sometimes “why?” is offered up with a hidden agenda. It can be a test. Prove it. Tell me why.
The question “Why not?” has a lot of power. A good portion of the creative process involves deferring judgment, at least temporarily, and evaluating new ideas based on their positive impact before delving into all the reasons they won’t work. “Why not?” assumes best possible potential. “Why not?” implies being open minded. “Why not?” invites you to take a bit of a risk, which is another critical component to creativity.
CREA gives us plenty of opportunities to say, “why not?” It’s a week of new theories and new tools, for some it’s a new process and a new way of thinking. There are new people, new ideas. We can meet all of this novelty with the standard “why?” and see if it passes muster. Or we can take a different stance and ask “why not?” and see what comes of trying something on for size.
So if you see Paolo while you’re at CREA this week, maybe you can him if he’s going to play his guitar for us. Why not?