Object Dar't

July 23, 2010

the battle against the creativity crisis

recently, Newsweek carried an article on "The Creativity Crisis" grazed over why creativity is important and how it is in serious decline. i started this blog in an effort to help others not only begin to accept their creativity but to try to foster it. while the world at large prefers to see us "artistic folks" as off-the-beaten path types, so much of our world would not be as it is without the us. Thomas Edison, the father and founder of almost EVERYTHING we are now (because let's face it..without electricity what in your world would work?) was a creative genius said to have severe A.D.D.

while the article was ground breaking in several ways, including citing Torrance’s test which measures a creativity quotient in others and a scientific breakdown of brain activity during the creative process, it also revealed proof of what i've been saying which is that everyone has the ability to be creative. further more, it was concrete about the important roles creative people play in our world. "What’s shocking is how incredibly well Torrance’s creativity index predicted those kids’ creative accomplishments as adults. Those who came up with more good ideas on Torrance’s tasks grew up to be entrepreneurs, inventors, college presidents, authors, doctors, diplomats, and software developers."

the problem of course lay in the fact that culturally we beat the creativity out of everyone. the article argues that 'standards-obsessed schools' train children to stop questioning and simply memorize. while i agree with this point of view, i believe that the article was remiss in accurately identifying where the problem actually lay.

to supposed that public school curriculum is the reason American creativity is tanking is like saying the titanic hit a chunk of ice. no my friends, that was an iceberg just like the one that is sinking the pioneering spirit of America. across the board, socially and culturally, everything possible is done to ensure that every American follows along like a good lemming.

WAYS TO COUNTERACT THE CREATIVITY CRISIS

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS
by zippythesimshead
stop unnecessarily medicating children and adults with highly creative personalities (ADD, etc)! i mean this RESPONSIBLY so please don't think i am pro porting that everyone should stop taking their meds. there ARE children and adults with real disorders that absolutely could not function without medication but like so many things in our culture - we are definitely overdoing drugs of every kind. if your child is a bit unruly in school or has trouble, then why not invest the time to training him/her how to focus and settle down naturally? nothing good can come from a society full of people who have depressed their creativity and uniqueness all their lives!


PLUG BACK INTO LIFE
stop watching other people have "interesting" lives on TV and start having one of your own. for people with children, this is ESPECIALLY important! the brain enters the alpha wave state (the definition of comatose!) when watching television and you are literally training your child's brain to exist in this condition. moreover, it's just not healthy for any brain to spend so much time inactive! if you can't kill your TV then figure out how to restrict it to a healthy, one or two programs a week. you'll be amazed at how much living you do and how much you can pack into a day when you aren't "plugged" in.

MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND
turn away from the media. they're the worst culprits of spoon feeding people their reality which is solely about whatever agenda they have. watch from a safe distance and make up your own mind. i don't watch the news or read the paper. i can't handle the negativity or the lack of objectivity of it all. i get all my info from "water cooler" conversations with friends and FB updates. then i start asking questions so that i can make up my own mind. unfortunately, the media is not interactive like that. u don't get to question. u just get whatever they've plunked in your lap and by the next commercial your brain has accepted what was said and moved on. so just say "NO" to traditional media.

PARENTS, JUST SAY "NO" TO VIDEO
games, that is. this is the number one, most influential item on this list. it has no future for your kids. you can't get a Master's Degree in Pacman no matter how badly your kid might want one. so do yourself a favor, don't let your kids invest valuable time and brain energy on a dead end street.


TURN THE MUNDANE INTO A GAME
whenever we go for a ride in the car that is sure to last more than 30 minutes, i play a game with my kids. we make up stories on the fly. interesting, colorful, sometimes gory stories that stick in their little brains. or one of us will make up a sentence and then everyone has to take a turn to add onto that sentence thus making up a "story on the fly". not only am i inserting creativity into the lives of my children, but you can't imagine how excited we all get and spend the time laughing together.

NEVER STOP ASKING QUESTIONS
questioning is like digging. digging is the thing that has uncovered everything from diamonds in the earths crust to King Tut's tomb and the Terracotta Army! now imagine all the amazing things you've never uncovered simply because you didn't "dig." be an explorer. ask questions about everything and be prepared to be amazed at what you uncover. if you have children, absolutely and unequivocally encourage them to question everything even if it does drive you insane. if you don't have an answer to something, turn it back around on them and tell them to go find out. you have the internet and your local library where you will find the answer to just about every question under the sun.

so please, do your part in the battle against the creativity crisis. you'll be glad you did.