Creativity: a changing role in society?

What does creativity mean to me? I’ve always thought of it as it’s own life force, something within us all that must show itself once in a while. To me creativity is something as magnificent as a mural on the wall of a fancy building or as everyday as the funny one-liner that your friend blureted out a few minutes ago. Unfortunately, creativity has been treated in our education system, as only a parasite, a living creature within us that is not embraced but rather destroyed at large costs, such as the success of future generations. Listening to these four TED talks initiated my thoughts on what role creativity plays in different peoples lives. David Kelly talked about his childhood friend Brian’s experience with art and how his friend was told that his clay horse sculpture “was terrible and did not look like a horse at all.” This made me realize that I myself (and I am sure many others) hold back their ideas and creativity because of fear of being judged. People are opting out of creative experiences. However, Kelley believes that a new found confidence in one’s creativity is important. That more people end up being and doing what they truly want when they are willing to express their creativity and ideas.
All these speakers are examples of people who did not opt out of creativity. Dan Phillips continued to promote his recycled homes business, Phoenix Commotions, despite being told several times he would not be successful. Why? Because he learned not to be afraid of failing. With grand ideas also comes people around us who are not accepting of those ideas. Phillips describes the building industry as frivolous and wasteful but goes even deeper until it eventually connects,in description, to our society in general. For example, our need to fit in with those around us. “If it does not match throw it out” I believe we do this to people as well. He references Plato who said “We have in our head a perfect idea of what we want and we force environmental resources to accommodate that.” However, what if that idea was applied in a different way? What if it was accepted to have a creative idea of what we want, promote it and work until it becomes reality?
The next two speakers talk about our education systems. There is a lack of support for the arts and the industrial revolution has molded our education system into what it is today. Ken Robinson says that we squander our children’s creative capacity. Children are capable of amazing things. Very often are not afraid of being wrong or taking a chance until we give them a reason to. He goes on to question why we still remain with the same hierarchy of subjects in teaching over the years. What makes mathematics more important than theatre? Or as Mae Jemison brought up, why are certain subjects and capabilities even separated into groups? Ken Robinson mentioned that education systems are designed and created in their own image. That our degrees and education prepare and mold us to essentially become university professors. For example, although it may be interesting and educational, a foreign language requirement might not really be necessary to a Fine Arts degree. Robinson explains that younger generations are finding it hard to get the job they would like with a Bachelors, people are now getting their Graduate degrees or their PhD. Our education needs are changing right in front us. Is it not time to create an education system that fulfills those needs? Creativity has been my favorite subject to blog on and I also found it to be the most inspirational. We can all benefit from what these speakers have brought to the table.


2 thoughts on “Creativity: a changing role in society?

  1. Creativity is treated secondary in our educational system. The schools seem to forget that most people are creative in some way. Students are treated like robots, plug in some math equations, some text, a science formula or two, a uniform, and they’re done. Brian should have told that person that his horse was an abstract piece. It is easy to feel judge if people look at you without empathy. All art can be great if you put the right name on it (abstract, surrealism, pop). Children strive and explore like natural scientist until some grown person tells them that the answers are all limited, treading harshly on their dreams.

  2. I agree with you children don’t care whether or not they hurt your feelings or think twice about whether they’re supposed to refrain from saying something awkward; yet their thoughts often embarrass adults and provoke them to analyze just how honest they are with themselves. Children are brilliant with the capacity to create and invent far from what our adult minds can imagine. Well done.


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