Is Creativity Endangered?

Creativity, like many other English words has been used, misused and overused over the years. So much so, that its definition has been mixed up. Anybody who is smart and solves a problem is often elevated to the status of being creative! So, first we need to understand what exactly creativity means.

Ability to create something new, something different is what defines the word creativity. To be precise the ability to think and create something unique is creativity. To put in Bill Moyer’s words, “Piercing the mundane to find the marvelous is creativity.” It is the greatest expression of liberty and thus, a natural extension of our enthusiasm.

A fleeting glance at our immediate surroundings and we see various aspects of creativity, be it in technology, literature, art or music. We are naturally creative. All we need to do is, break free of our comfort zone, experiment and explore. And this is what exactly is happening all around us. The various forms of art, dance, music and even food! All reeks of creativity! So wherein lays the question of it being endangered.

Yes, we can say, that it is to some extent threatened by plagiarism. But then, I feel that too requires creativity. In fact, society has been doing this “remix phenomenon” for ages in nearly all the fields, including science and technology. For this is how we evolve. We cannot carve out a new structure or reinvent a wheel in every generation. But we can definitely rearrange, modify and or polish the original one to make it better suited for present times. Of course, to do this one requires skill and potential, and here lies the creativity - to be able to present something that already exists - in a new form with a spark of imagination and courage and passion. Even the great Picasso said,” good artists copy, great artists steal.” As long as the due credit to the original is given, it should be treated fairly and solely as inspiration.

Human beings have an innate affinity towards liberty and self-expression. It’s essential for their survival and Creativity is their potential outlet. It allows them to experiment and break free from their comfort zones. We all want to explore our extreme limits, it’s our need.

Creativity is all about experimenting and exploring. It requires action, implementation, passion, and commitment. But above all, it requires the courage to let go of certainties and trusting our instincts. It is allowing oneself to make mistakes. Scott Adams has wisely said, that creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. So, as long as our needs for self-expression and liberty are alive, creativity continues to thrive. And this need of ours is insatiable.