Thursday, April 07, 2011

Creativity of People Today

I was reading the news today on some of my favorite news sites, and it struck me - the world is still in its infancy, regarding creativity. Every human being has the potential to create amazing, uniquely creative works of art, to make things that cheer up and inspire everyone around them. And yet, not ONE SINGLE article in ANY news source I could find had any descriptions of such things for the past 3 days!

I read, which is a very non-partisan, non-biased view on news articles - it robotically chooses articles from other news providers based on popularity of its readership. I read, which has a good amount of bias, but also covers all the major news from USA point of view anyway. I even read a couple "good news" web sites [1], [2] that focuses on only good news (nothing horrific or depressing - what a concept). And I read my favorite, the Wikipedia Current Events page which is the most unbiased news headlines I have ever seen (GOOD!) but has been mostly death and destruction this week.

This really got me thinking today. One of two things is happening. Either there is nobody anywhere doing great things in this world, creating inspirational artwork, helping people in some area in some way - or the news is completely letting us down by missing it. Which is it?

I think it's a little of both. Humanity is still struggling to find its way to "address the minimum needs of the people" in the shortest time possible, leaving the rest of their time and energy to do great things in this world. Instead, our societies all seem geared towards wasting our time, wasting our energy, wasting our money, over and over and over again - getting us involved in convoluted, complicated, difficult things that can't easily be mastered; making life even harder than it really has to be.

There are some people in our world that are minimalists. They buck the trend of society by never buying a home, only renting. Never renting a house, but only a small place with 2-3 roommates to reduce the cost. Selling their car or just not replacing it when it expires. They get rid of as much stuff as they can, so when it's time to move, they can get up and leave very easily; they possess only a few boxes of junk, a few clothes, and a laptop to schlep around with them.

This minimalist idea is fascinating to me. I don't live that way; quite the opposite most of the time. But there's something to it. Not buying into all the advertising for the "next must-have thing", in every avenue of life. Buying only what you need, not everything you desire. Making what you have last as long as possible, and then, finding a way to make it last even longer.

And in a way, these minimalists - their very existence flying in the face of all the advertising and peer-pressure around them - are being creative. The life they lead, created by themselves, is an kind of creative expression - the result of their strong intention to lead the way they want to, based on a force inside of themselves (certainly not from any external impetus).

That's not the creativity I'm looking for - but it's something to consider.

What I want to see is people having time to create great works of art in their particular fields, an expression coming from within themselves. They have to have enough time to relax and calm themselves once in a while, to center themselves and focus on their inner-greatness, and see what blossoms. It has well been observed that the greatest works of art come from those who have a spiritual connection, and use it for great inspiration and creativity. Such works have a rare energy that uplifts those who view it, or hear it, or interact with it.

But when do we ever have time to do this? A whole bunch of things must line up properly to do it. You have to know it's possible, that you, personally, can do it. You must understand why it would be so great to do that, and then make the time in your busy life to do it. You have to realize the importance, to you and to everyone around you, and make it a priority. It doesn't have to take a lot of time, just some time, to start with.

I think a great society is one that has the ability to hold back the floodgates of wastefulness, long enough for the people to be creative, for measurable periods of time. The measure of the greatness of a society is in how much time it makes available to its people for creativity - all the people, across the board.

A wise man once said, people should have a vacation 1 day a week to really get away from their lives and be a spiritual being. But that's not enough. They also need to do that 1 week a month, 1 month a year, and 1 year every 12 years! Boy, I don't know about you, but my boss wouldn't let me off work for all that much time!

And thus, our society has been measured.

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