What It's Like To Grow Up In A Place With Little Creativity
If I begin this blog by citing the Webster (or Oxford) dictionary on the definition of creativity, then the whole point of writing it is to tell you why that’s a bad idea.
A while back, some people, predominantly men, put their heads together to theorize that real, observable, and quantifiable things were the only ones worth exploring. Fast forward a great many decades, and we created standardized education that is solely based on physical, observable, and quantifiable things, and nothing else.
Now, creativity is culled in many other societies and cultures, not just in the modern educational regime or modern materialistic thought. But let me use it to illustrate my point.
The Importance of Creativity
Since the 1990s, creativity and innovation have been at the forefront of human advancement. It is becoming more significant every passing day. But, in this new world are people like me, who are struggling with their creativity and innovative ideas, and passions because they were raised in a place where creativity was shunned.
If you are like me, then I hope this blog will bring you some clarity and closure.
Most millennials grew up in a nuclear family envisioned by either Boomers or Generation X.
Boomers belong to a post-war era with experiences of poverty, conflict, and a lot of migrations. It is not a generation that embraces peace.
Generation X also saw a lot of financial crises and economic insecurities.
Using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs seems like a good choice here.
The majority of these households were focused on physiological needs and safety and security needs. Self-esteem needs were not met by authentic self-development or attainment of personal goals. Ridden by conflicts, poverty, and financial insecurity, their self-esteem needs were met through psychopathy, aggression, dependency and codependency, and egotism.
Most millennials grew up in this space, including me.
Fear of Expression
As a child, I used to always feel that our constitution was a joke! We learn about freedom, rights, and our duties, but we rarely see them reflected in people’s choices or behavior.
We are given these rights and liberties. But how many of us are taught to practice them? I mean, in their fullest sense.
From school, the rules start. It’s a process of substituting natural curiosity, originality, and the raw innovative spirit of a child with facts, rote learning, and standardized acquisition of knowledge. Children are expected to go through with this, and most do. But when one child refuses, the pain starts. There is always that pain, forming the glass ceiling in which the child is forever trapped.
I come from a boarding school, one of its worst kinds. It’s a lot easier to manipulate children into submitting their free will in closed setups. I’m sure that’s why those monstrous factories were built.
There is a horrible effect boarding schools have on children. They end up broken for the rest of their lives, sometimes, irrevocably so.
In homes, parents don’t have the time for nurturing the intuitive and the imaginative. Children who get that space are better for it.
Personally, my drawing, writing, collecting, and scrapbooking interests were “past times” and sometimes “nuisances” or “unwanted trouble”.
Being creative at heart, that feedback made me feel like my entire existence was “in past times”, or a “nuisance” or “unwanted trouble”.
Then there was the abuse. As children in this era, we are to subject ourselves to control willfully. That is, from everyone older than us. Therefore, many times, our creativity and innovation invite actual harm from others if they don’t like it.
It wouldn’t deter the crazy little children in us from doing the things we love. But we sneak around. We feel ashamed and scared. We twist our capabilities to match social standards. Anyhow, our creative sides remain unexplored and grossly underdeveloped.
If we can’t be ourselves, what’s the point of having freedom?
It’s a wonder Pink Floyd wrote songs on all these in the same decades. They perform the
essential service of catharsis for so many survivors of this repressive system, including me.
How do humans cope with the tragedy of suppressing their creativity?
The Fear-Confusion-Self-Doubt Matrix
If you’ve been in one, you’ll definitely know it.
Some get stuck in it for decades on an end. Some succumb to its cruel gripe.
I’ve gone through one hell of a journey trying to escape it.
When our creativity is lost, our originality is lost. We don’t know who we are anymore. Of course, that favors the system.
But we feel broken, lost, and sad. And we can’t figure out why.
In this brief life, if we can’t figure out who we are, what’s the point of living?
The Pining for Appreciation
The entire world has become a huge snowflake.
I write, make videos, and do some art. But I do most of them because I want to be appreciated.
I do want to contribute to this world, but my desire for appreciation triumphs over it. I’ll do anything to make my posts and videos liked and viewed over and over again. That’s not because it’s the right career goal, but because it makes me feel good.
That appreciation doesn’t mean anything. Just the dopamine rush I couldn’t enjoy till now.
Only a few creative people do their craft for a cause in this world. Or to drive change. People aren’t keen on becoming Pink Floyds.
Because they want to be liked. They are unsure of themselves or their potential. Throughout their adult lives, they are fulfilling their unmet need to be loved for who they are!
How far will this culture go like that?
Lack of Discipline
Unfulfilled scared individuals become owners of a clumsy mind, intellect, and body.
We become isolated, egotistic, and fatalistic. We don’t cultivate our humaneness or empathy. We don’t see our existence as a blessing.
We become lazy or all over the place.
Detached or overly attached.
Heartless or always hurting.
All these are signs of an uncultivated mind. The lack of discipline and refinement of our bodies, mind, and intellect.
In a renewed search to find ourselves, all these issues are resolved.
What is Humanity Without Creativity?
Today, people say that humans are a bane on earth. But if humans are creative, innovative, and self-actualized, they have god-like capabilities.
Humanity has progressed because of its ability to be creative. To break the rules, test the limits, and envisage the impossible.
Any system that doesn’t nurture that is inviting its demise. Our education and child-rearing systems are inviting the doom of humanity.
There is a new wave of growth in a positive direction. People take the initiative to heal themselves and build a better future for their little ones. I wish that wave becomes an ocean and take over the entire world.