Common belief has it that, when a tiny piece of grit enters an oyster or a mussel, it turns into a pearl. While this only happens in a small number of cases, it is still a microscopic object that, upon entering a mussel, causes it to produce something exceptionally beautiful that has adorned human attire for centuries.

The creative process is based on a form of tension, a discomfort that nudges the mussel into surrounding the piece of grit with a protective layer which over time transforms into a pearl. This demonstrates that embracing difference may feel alien and uncomfortable to start with, but it opens up the potential to create something magnificent. It is the very unease that is felt during the early encounters that is essential for creativity and growth.

So what can we learn from nature? We can learn to trust ourselves and have the confidence to step outside our comfort zone in order to open our minds and create something new and exciting by learning from each other. It is not always going to be easy, but it will always be an enriching experience, like a pearl, created from a tiny piece of grit.