Everyone Needs a Little Magic

Pokémon Go is proof that no one wants to grow up, ultimately. And I think that’s a good thing.

OK, let me back up. First, my only knowledge of Pokémon, prior to the juggernaut that is Pokémon Go, comes from my 8-year-old’s obsession with Pokémon cards. He has a thick binder filled with hundreds of cards that detail all of the different characters that are part of that magical world. The names are as inventive as the designs for each character. And each has a series of traits, from height and weight to other superpowers. When you step back, you can appreciate its similarity to a Dr. Seuss–like world, purely and authentically its own.

With the power of augmented reality, Pokémon has taken a giant leap into the hearts and minds of the young and old(er) alike. This is a non-scientific study, but by the look of people wandering through Rittenhouse Square—only blocks from our headquarters and filled with Pokémon—it’s not just 15-year-olds playing. And they all seem to be having a blast.

So I jumped into the fray, downloaded the app, and the next thing you know, I’m wandering through our offices trying to capture a Polliwog. And I couldn’t help but smile when I did it. And then it made sense. I understood the many millions of people who are running around the world, capturing magical creatures that don’t really exist but that create a wonderful diversion just the same.

Ultimately, we all need a little magic in our lives; we all need a small escape. This is the essence of creativity, and it goes all the way back to drawings on caves. We crave stories that help lift us out of the reality of life—all too real and, frankly, sad, nowadays—and transport us. It’s what I love the most about creativity – how a story can teach you about yourself while giving you a surprising, magical boost that makes the day a little more special.

This is why I encourage every Cat here to pursue their creative selves outside of what we do collectively. For some, it’s music. For others, it’s publishing a book of poetry. Skateboarding. Video production. The list goes on. For me, it’s all about how you’re pushing yourself in new ways, taking new chances, failing, and learning.

In my case, I’m writing a children’s book and a screenplay. And as anyone who writes for a living knows, it’s not an easy process. But I’m enjoying it, I’m learning from it, and it’s making me a better writer overall. My philosophy is that creative efforts made outside of the AgileCat world come back tenfold to the AgileCat world. Ironic, isn’t it? But it’s true. In setting creative goals—no matter how informal—a person is exercising those beautiful creative muscles in the mind and expanding one’s reach and capabilities. The creative process is all about flow and freedom no matter what the pursuit may be. And there’s no such thing as stretching it too much.

Here’s to your creative pursuit outside of your ‘9 to 5’ day. And I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my progress in uncovering the magic inside as I write simply for the joy of it.

– P. Madden, Top Cat