Being creative can seem like a switch we have to press, a skillset we either have or we don’t, but is that really true? Isn’t it that we’re all being creative all of the time? Beyond the extreme, obvious examples of art itself or the process of human reproduction, there’s surely this massive middle ground where – with greater or lesser awareness, intention and deliberation – we’re all, constantly creating life anew through our choices.
We’re perhaps just creative beings: observing, thinking, acting (Notes One). All we do is, in a way, bringing something new to life through our attitudes, relationships, commitments, impacts, and so forth. We might quite passively create out of unexamined habits, but isn’t the result pretty much the same, in that it counts?
Because creativity seems to rest on vision – on what we imagine and believe to be possible, worthwhile or valuable. It’s understanding the world around you, seeing clearly, grasping some sense of meaning, responding with a degree of skill, and adding something to the mix. It’s perhaps an act of faith that our insight and involvement matters; that what we have to say might help somehow.
In life, then, we’re presumably creating every day? We might not believe our perspective, choices and contributions make a difference – we might feel it to be futile, that our lives don’t matter and no one notices. We might think nothing will change and there’s no point really trying. We could just continue on with our pre-existing choices, even if they seem to be causing problems.
But, despite the vision we have of what our existence might “mean”, doesn’t all this feed into the same, one reality just the same? We can create pessimistically, accidentally, intentionally, hopefully or blindly. We could just go with the flow of wherever we currently happen to be in life; repeat the same patterns over and over without quite feeling responsible for the process or the outcome.
It’s interesting to think what we create even when we don’t mean to, when it wasn’t our intention to cause those problems or elicit those reactions. If life’s our actions and reactions – all these forces emanating from our psyche, wandering the paths of our learnt behaviour to meet together with those of others – then the modern world’s a strange reality to be getting our heads around (Notes Two).
How much do we understand what we’re doing and what it’s going to mean? Who’s influencing our choices or the vision we have in mind? What wider trends are we, perhaps inadvertently, being drawn into? If all that we do is serving to create the world we’re all sharing, what are we adding and how aware are we of those realities? How much can we care about this collective creative project we’re each involved in?
It just seems that, beyond exclusive notions of what it is to be “creative”, we all play truly important parts in maintaining, upholding, sustaining, perpetuating and carrying forward what it might mean to be fully human.
Notes and References:
Note 1: The real value of creativity?
Note 1: What we create by patterns of behaviour
Note 1: Creative vision in finding solutions
Note 2: Ethics, money & social creativity
Note 2: Overwhelm and resignation
Note 2: Art as a way to subvert or inspire
Note 2: Problems & the thought that created them