We seem to be missing Creativity


Bird Droppings October 17, 2017
We seem to be missing Creativity

 

This was another quiet morning as I wandered out although a bit too chilly for crickets and frogs yesterday later in the day however several tree frogs visited around the house. The air was still, not a breeze as I sat in my old wicker sofa on the front porch. I was listening to the stillness and quiet something about the lack of hum of air conditioners just before we all turn on our heating systems. I enjoy my morning chorus yet today perhaps with numerous ideas running through my head quiet was good for a change. I was thinking about students and how to deal with issues that are confronting several. I was thinking of my own children growing up and a wedding anniversary and baby dedication in next weekend for my youngest son and all that encompasses. I was thinking selfishly about directions for life and future, so many thoughts and so little time.
I have always been amazed at creativity and often the lack thereof in some student’s maybe we strip it away in favor of repetition and memorizing of bits and pieces and then say someone is so creative for repeating exactly what was plugged in during class.

 

            “The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things,            not simply of repeating what other generations have done — men who are creative,           inventive and discoverers.” Jean Piaget

 

I have always considered the idea perpetuated by Piaget of stages of development in children as they learn as a basis for many aspects of human life and the development of creativity is a crucial one.

 

            “Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a             different way.” Edward De Bono

 

A number of years ago my youngest son was recommended for the gifted program in his elementary school. The various testing consisted of achieving beyond a certain point in three out of four areas and one was creativity. After he was tested, the person testing commented he went off the charts in creativity. It is so easy to stifle creativity throughout our lives we are trained to conform often in ways we never really understand.

 

            “The creative person wants to be a know -it -all. He wants to know about all kinds of   things: ancient history, nineteenth -century mathematics, current manufacturing        techniques, flower arranging, and hog futures. It is because he never knows when these      ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six     months, or six years down the road. But he has faith that it will happen.” Carl Ally

 

Years ago I would read encyclopedias cover to cover and always I wondered why. Why things were as they were and so much more. As I look at my thinking on Piaget, often time’s children are held back in thinking by a parent or teacher and miss a stage, so to say, in their development. It could be it intellectually, spiritually or even physically and often not intentionally.

            “First, I do not sit down at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in             my mind. If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about      it. We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.” Robert       Cecil Day-Lewis

 

            “Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To   others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from       your very soul an idea.” Lou Dorfman

 

I see every day students that have been limited in their ability to achieve. A teacher here did not look beyond a failing grade, due to a reading issue, and labeled that student. A parent perhaps, never home never provided emotional guidance to their child. A pastor’s words perhaps, far too critical pushed a child away from faith. It may have happened in stages, or steps in development process and so pushed away or torn away in some cases, leaving blanks, hollows, difficult to fill.

 

            “The legs are the wheels of creativity.” Albert Einstein

 

            “Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training.” Anna     Freud

 

I agree to a point with Ms. Freud eventually a creative mind will push through but when we so diligently hold them back irreparable damage can occur. I watched a young man working on a project in my class room he had been labeled by many as incorrigible and a slow learner. He was working in a project that required much hands on creativity no other student measured pieces quite to the extent he has on this project. As he was setting up templates and measuring guides as he worked and he was several days behind others not because he is slow but in deliberation and perfection.

 

            “Most people die before they are fully born. Creativeness means to be born before one   dies.” Erich Fromm

 

            “Because of their courage, their lack of fear, they (creative people) are willing to make            silly mistakes. The truly creative person is one who can think crazy; such a person   knows full well that many of his great ideas will prove to be worthless. The creative person is flexible — he is able to change as the situation changes, to break habits, to          face indecision and changes in conditions without undue stress. He is not threatened by          the unexpected as rigid, inflexible people are.” Frank Goble

 

Maybe that is the difference and that might be flexibility, a creative person is flexible.

 

“The desire to create continually is vulgar and betrays jealousy, envy, ambition. If          one is something one really does not need to make anything –and one nonetheless      does very much. There exists above the “productive” man a yet higher species.”    Fredrick Nietzsche

 

“The person who can combine frames of reference and draw connections between       ostensibly unrelated points of view is likely to be the one who makes the creative    breakthrough.” Denise Sherarjian

 

Many days ago as I was reading Yahoo news a story came across and as in Yahoo news was only there a brief second or two and a new story more important came over the internet. The movie Rain Man was based on this man from Utah, a magna savant, which is a person whose memory and intelligence is increasing as he grows older. NASA had been studying his development. He had read over 9000 books and could pull from them any passage instantly and precisely. He is fluent in and on a genius level in 15 subjects yet cannot dress himself or find his way home. For this person memory is all and yet there is little or no potential for creativity quite a paradox.

 

            “Anyone can look for fashion in a boutique or history in a museum. The creative           explorer looks for history in a hardware store and fashion in an airport.” Robert             Wieder

 

If only we could always encourage creativity. If we only we were not afraid so many times of creative people. If only we would lift up ideas and thoughts and try not to stifle new thinking. I wonder would we progress as humans perhaps but it sure would be interesting trying. As I think back in history so often those in power have stifled creativity wanting to keep to the status quo. It has been a number of years since I received an invitation to a solo art show unfortunately in New York City from a friend. Creativity has kept her soul growing and expanding some will love her style and art and others will walk away. I was thinking back to impressionists who many distained in their life times and now bring literally hundreds of millions for paintings. Another friend writes and her writing has changed as she is changing. She went into teaching and this opened windows for her ideas and flow of thoughts. Working with children tends to make us creative just to keep up. A new week and new season upon us as the cool weather brings color to the trees and stillness to the mornings. I wonder what this world would be like if we taught creativity in all grades. What if we looked for rainbows rather than simply black and white? What if we tried in see in a kaleidoscopic view rather than in a microscopic? I wonder but for now please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and always give thank namaste.
My family and friends I do not say this lightly,

Mitakuye Oyasin

(We are all related)

bird

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