In this realm, nearly all creatures build in some measure. Some for shelter and nesting, some build high-tech chambers of metamorphosis. The examples are endless. Even without “thumbs” these marvelous creatures make the most elaborate of vessels and the greatest of cities. Many have said that it is the inclusion of the thumb that make humans different. With this added feature we somehow gain an increased advantage. We realize as in the afore-mentioned examples much can be done with a claw, a beak or a special gland.
It is the drive to create that sets Homo sapiens apart. We build our nest alright but we do it with style and pizzazz. The wondrous non-human species of earth can only build. They do what has been done before, deviating very little from their instinct.
History tells us of people who were driven to build. Then there are those who are driven to create. And within that spectrum we see a division with this drive to create combined with genius. Leonardo da Vinci comes to mind. When this unique combination happens humanity is inspired.
As a commercial carpenter I am compelled to build with the expectation of clean lines and durable function but I am also driven to create. With a small measure of recognition and much removed from the genius end of the creative spectrum I find joy in the things I create. I plead guilty to the lack of clean lines, balanced presentation or durability. The joy comes in the making and in the sharing.