Taking My Toy (Story) and Going Home
It's been interesting to read/hear the reactions from my friends about the ending of Toy Story 3. (Spoiler Alert) I mean, it's one thing for little kids to get upset at the end when Andy gives all his toys to Bonnie and then drives off into the sunset to go to college, but I've been surprised how many adults (including myself) have gotten a little choked up over the scene.
Having taught a few semesters of an MBA class in creativity, I have a theory about why the end of this flick is affecting adults... I think it forces us to relive our own lost childhood. We have to come to terms with the fact that we no longer allow ourselves to be kids, to play with toys, to explore our own imaginations (as opposed to video games which give us the story), to know what joy feels like with reckless abandon. We see Andy going off to college and leaving his toys behind, and we look at our mortgages and car payments and performance appraisals and bad bosses and every-day-spouse-and-kids... we begin to mourn a simpler time in our lives.
My creativity students are pushed into situations where they have to unlearn how to unlearn creativity... yes, you read that right. We're all born with creativity and in the course of time, we unlearn it. My job as a professor isn't to teach creativity; to believe I could do so would be both futile and arrogant. My job is simply to help them whack through all the perceptual filters which have prevented them from being creative... to help them find their box of toys again.
What do you think? Once we've gone past "infinity and beyond" is it possible to return?