Everyone is talking about the importance of creativity. I have no argument with this as I believe it is incredibly important to be creative. You can be creative with anything, someone has to open the doors to show you how to do that. Some people just lean this way more instinctively, some have hurdles of fear and lack of experience to overcome. Never underestimate the ability to think creatively in any situation. It is invaluable.
Many things influence our lives, and in the life a of a child, some speak louder than others. Children are always told, “Don’t do this, don’t do that… Listen to me…follow my example.”
All of these words and wisdom are usually well-intentioned. If you think about it, they have a negative effect on creativity. It is hard to be spontaneous and innovative when someone has told you there is something wrong with everything you do. So instead of watering the creative plant so it will bloom and be beautiful, often we are pruning it and denying it the very food that makes it thrive. It happens in so many places. If you are disruptive in school and you don’t follow the rules, what happens? The ones who memorize all the stuff and get the good grades also get the reward. The other ones, not so much. Shouldn’t we explore harnessing energy and motivation in the right direction?
So how do we learn to be good citizens and rule followers and, at the same time, nurture our creative potential? That is a complex question. Dealing with so many personality types and different needs for creative expression takes a wise teacher to not put out the fire. So many people are “whipped” into shape by their parents or teachers and other authority figures so they look for negative ways to express themselves. If we can harness the creative potential in everyone in a positive way, think of what the world would be!
I understand it is hard to deal with someone who may be unpredictable or out of control. Can we teach the rules and at the same time give someone freedom and opportunity to express or to fail once in a while? Or do we just berate and expect our displeasure will manipulate someone into shape? It is possible to be a good citizen, not be disruptive or a rule breaker and be creative too? How does a student with personality that wishes to please also express and explore?
Do we need to define mental creativity and separate it from behavior? Think about all of the creative energy and fire that has been snuffed out by conformity. It is a complex question as one must behave in certain respects and conform to societal norms. This is a question I am asking to which I am not sure of the answer. I do know that mistakes teach and reflection makes us better. We must allow our children to fail, to try things and at the same time not to impose on the freedoms of others. What’s your take on this?