Making good Mondays is like making coffee -

The week is before us - like the coffee pot - waiting to brew. Making it good is a matter of choice, luck, creativity, patience and acceptance of the outcome.

Currently at Making Good Mondays

Active elements on this page: Occasionally I will publish a new blog post, but I write mostly at other sites.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Keeping creativity alive --

Each relatively normal human being comes into the world with a reservoir of built-in creativity. Creativity is also found in animals, but it has become more perfected in our own more evolved species.

The challenge is to keep that creativity available to our children as we raise them, or as we become adults ourselves. Socialization is a powerful force of influence with creativity. It can either make or break one's creative spirit.

The trick is to socialize in ways that do not stifle creativity. Messages of blind conformity, too many arbitrary rules, or too much reliance on past history all can reduce creativity along life's way.

Creativity can be preserved and enhanced in many ways. Montessori recommended a stimulant rich environment for children's learning. Good parenting that respects the rights of children is essential. Children who come to a good understanding of cause-and-effect or consequences can retain creativity at the same time.

Enhancing creativity in adults also includes an enriched environment, lifelong learning, self respect that includes standing up for one's own rights to have individual ideas or unique vision, a willingness to break the rules and a commitment to taking regular time for creative activities.

People's societal environments mold creativity towards good or ill. Poverty, repressive governments, conflict and war, all diminish the creative spirit. Such influences have been the subject of widespread academic inquiry. The following article, from Indiana University's "Research and Creative Activity Magazine, is titled "A childhood of their own" by Karen Grooms. To quote:

[William] Corsaro, Indiana University Bloomington’s Robert H. Shaffer Class of 1967 Endowed Professor of Sociology, worries about the status of children in U.S. society and in many parts of the world. Throughout his career, he’s studied the effects on young people of a dispiriting list of social problems including poverty, violence, child abuse and neglect, high divorce rates, teen pregnancy, social stratification and segregation, and the underdeveloped social consciences of many policymakers. He is hopeful, however, that research such as his, based on children’s own perspectives, will lead to greater understanding of what children need to enjoy safer, healthier, more positive childhoods.

. . . Corsaro cites [...] examples of children’s special ways of creating and preserving their own culture. “Small children are very good at improvisation,” he says. “With little effort, a stapler becomes a truck; a book becomes a monster. Most children also act out rituals of danger and rescue—imagining floods, tidal waves, fires, being lost, and so on. Or they take turns pretending to be monsters. They also take great satisfaction in subtly challenging adult rules. For example, in a day-care center where children officially were not allowed to bring possessions from home, I found the children would bring very small possessions—things that could be hidden in their pockets—and play with them in groups.”

. . . In the developing world, Corsaro detects some promising signs such as reductions in child mortality, some diseases, and malnutrition. Such successes are a foundation for the future, he observes: “Cultures that invest in their children, that shelter, nourish, and challenge their young, that hold high expectations for their future generations, will survive and flourish.”

In conclusion I would also echo Corsaro's principles as they might be applied to adults. An egalitarian society that settles conflicts in creative ways is much preferable to one that imposes harsh or arbitrary rules, enforces class difference and is determined to be very hierarchical. In the United States disadvantaged adults are either isolated in their social systems or they are supported. A good basic education for everyone is a right, not a privilege of economic standing. Discouraging all kinds of discrimination makes people more free to be creative. Societies that put a "floor" under their most vulnerable citizens will encourage more creativity amongst all citizens. That is what I call a win/win for everyone.

Cross-posted at Southwest Blogger

My topical post today at South by Southwest and The Reaction is about the legacy of the current administration.

Technorati tags:

No comments:


Bookmark and Share

References on Spirituality -- Favorites from my old collection

  • "A Return To Love: Reflections On the Principles Of a Course In Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. Harper Collins, 1992
  • "A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Chicken Soup For the Unsinkable Soul" by Canfield, Hansen and McNamara. Health Communications, 1999
  • "Compassion in Action: Setting Out On the Path of Service" by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. Bell Tower Pub., 1992
  • "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain. MIF Books, 1978
  • "Finding Values That Work: The Search For Fulfillment" by Brian O'Connell. Walker & Co., 1978
  • "Fire in the Soul" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1993
  • "Further Along the Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Guilt Is the Teacher, Love Is the Lesson" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1990
  • "Inner Simplicity: 100 Ways To Regain Peace and Nourish the Soul" by Elaine St. James. Hyperion, 1995
  • "Insearch:Psychology and Religion" by James Hillman. Spring Pub. 1994
  • "Man's Search For Himself" by Rollo May. Signet Books, 1953
  • "Mythologies" by William Butler Yeats. Macmillan, 1959
  • "Myths, Dreams and Religion" by Joseph Campbell. Spring Pub. 1988
  • "Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit" by John and Muriel James. Penguin Books, 1991
  • "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Bantam Books , 1991
  • "The Heroine's Journey" by Mureen Murdock. Random House, 1990
  • "The Hope For Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1983
  • "The House of Belonging" poems by David Whyte. Many Rivers Press, 2004
  • "The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth" by M.Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1978
  • "The Soul's Code: In Search Of Character and Calling" by James Hillman. Random House, 1996
  • "The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought" by Jaroslav Pelikan. Little, Brown & Co., 1990
  • "Unconditional Life" by Deepak Chopra. Bantam Books, 1992
  • "Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion, 1994
  • "Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Doubleday Dell Pub. Group, 1974

About Me

My photo
A retired counselor, I am equal parts Techie and Artist. I am a Democrat who came to the Southwest to attend college. I married, had kids and have lived here all my adult life.