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The matching game.

When you were younger, did you ever hear the Sesame Street song "One of These Things is Not Like the Other?" Someone lists three things, two of which obviously go together and one that doesn't, and you just have to pick the odd one out. Let's try it with the first three words that come to mind: Milk, Moth, and Butterfly. It's clear which two match, right? It's obviously milk and moth. Both words begin with the letter "M," have four letters and the same consonant-vowel-consonant-consonant pattern. Done. Wait--that wasn't your thought? Oh, I bet you're a fan of The Lorax, Dr. Seuss's famous story about the environment. In that book, the prized Truffula trees "had the sweet smell of fresh butterfly milk." If that's your perspective, then it makes perfect sense that butterfly and milk go together. So, maybe there are two good answers.

What's that? You chose moth and butterfly? Well, I suppose both are winged insects that start their lives as eggs, hatch into caterpillars, and emerge from their pupas fully grown. Come to think of it, if you look at it that way, they're quite similar. Hmmm, maybe this game isn't as straightforward as I thought. Let me try again: Creativity, Diversity, and Unity. Creativity is the act of making something new and original. To do that, you would have to imagine the art you're creating or the problem you're solving in a unique way. That requires bringing your own thoughts and experiences to the table, since they are different from everyone else's. Your diversity enables you to create something that hasn't been seen before. So, creativity and diversity are plainly the solution. Although, Steve Jobs (cofounder of Apple Inc.) once said that, "Creativity is just connecting things." Connecting, joining, maybe even uniting into one work? That makes it sound like the answer is creativity and unity.

After all, not only does art bring different ideas together in one work, it also brings people together. One of the most amazing things about visiting a gallery, attending a festival, or discussing a book is the experience of coming together to share our response to art. Whether our ideas are the same or different, sharing them helps us to connect and understand each other. So, creativity and unity go hand in hand, too. At least there are only two answers to this one. After all, diversity and unity can't go together because well, they're opposites, right? One is about being different and the other is about joining together. But, diversity and unity are both essential to the creative process. And both words together describe us, the people of the world: We have essential differences, but also an essential commonality. Our individual parts strengthen who we are as whole. Hmm, it looks like diversity and unity also make a great answer. So, it seems like all three of these things go together. In fact, once you start looking, you see examples everywhere: from the performances and presentations at the 2015 World Children's Festival to the originator of the matching game song, Sesame Street, which had numerous co-productions in almost every continent. Closer to home, you might notice that creativity, diversity, and unity permeates the holidays you celebrate and the music you hear. Temple Grandin, an acclaimed author, autism activist, and inventor of stress-reducing tools for both people and animals, once said, "The world needs all kinds of minds." Our creativity and diversity enables us to make this world a better place.

Meera Trehan is a lawyer and writer whose recent work was featured in Chess Life for Kids.
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Title Annotation:creativity, diversity and unity
Author:Trehan, Meera
Publication:ChildArt
Geographic Code:1U5DC
Date:Oct 1, 2015
Words:599
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