Resilience: 5-Creativity 

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Resilience: 5-Creativity

Lesson Title:

Unleashing Creativity for Personal Expression

Vocabulary Word:

Creativity – The ability to generate original and innovative ideas, solutions, and expressions.

Lesson Content:

Creativity is a powerful force for personal development, particularly during confinement. It involves tapping into our imagination, thinking outside the box, and expressing ourselves uniquely and innovatively. By embracing and nurturing our creativity, we unlock our potential for self-expression, problem-solving, and personal growth.

As I describe in the Preparing for Success after Prison Course, Frederick Douglas influenced my creativity at the start of my prison term. He helped me believe that even though I served multiple decades in prison, I could become productive. 

If I could learn to communicate better, I could develop effective advocacy skills. I would need to build credibility to become the change I wanted to see in the world. Pursuing academic credentials and then publishing became the strategy that worked for me. 

  • Leaders such as Halim Flowers, who once served a life sentence, became a painter. 
  • Tommy Walker worked out of a life sentence by building an extraordinary and compelling record.
  • In what ways are you being creative?

Understanding the concept of creativity is essential for personal development:

  1. Embracing Imagination:
    Creativity begins with embracing our imagination and allowing ourselves to dream and envision new possibilities. It involves breaking free from conventional thinking and exploring alternative perspectives.
  2. Cultivating Curiosity:
    Curiosity fuels creativity. By maintaining a sense of wonder and a thirst for knowledge, we open ourselves to new experiences, ideas, and inspirations. Cultivating curiosity allows us to explore different paths and discover innovative solutions.
  3. Overcoming Fear of Failure:
    Fear of failure can hinder creativity. Embracing creativity involves letting go of perfectionism and the fear of making mistakes. It means taking risks, learning from setbacks, and viewing failures as opportunities for growth and learning.
  4. Thinking Outside the Box:
    Creativity thrives when we think outside the box and challenge traditional norms and assumptions. It involves seeking alternative perspectives, considering multiple solutions, and embracing unconventional approaches.
  5. Self-Expression:
    Creativity provides a means for personal expression. Through various artistic mediums, writing, or any form of creative outlet, we can express our emotions, thoughts, and experiences. We foster self-discovery and develop a deeper understanding of ourselves by sharing our unique voice.

Questions and Activities: Answer as you deem appropriate

  • How do you understand the concept of creativity?
  • Why is creativity important for personal development, particularly during imprisonment?
  • Share an example of a time when embracing creativity helped you solve a problem or express yourself in prison. How did it contribute to your personal growth?
  • How can nurturing your creativity help you prepare for a fulfilling life after release?
  • What strategies can you employ to enhance your creativity during your time in prison?


  • Reflect on a recent situation in which you used creativity to overcome a challenge or express yourself. Describe the creative process you went through and how it impacted the outcome. What did you learn from this experience?
  • Identify one area where you would like to foster more creativity. Write down specific actions you can take to nurture your creativity in that area, such as exploring new hobbies or engaging in brainstorming exercises.
  • Creativity is a powerful tool for self-expression, problem-solving, and personal growth. By embracing and nurturing your creativity during prison, you open up a world of possibilities for self-discovery, innovation, and post-release success.

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