Do you remember that game you used to play to pass the time on those wet afternoons? The one where you couldn’t touch the carpet otherwise you would be destroyed by the searing molten lava? Or the superhero you created from scratch with a utility belt that would have Batman begging for a job outside his own office tower? There is something within our youth and innocence that allows creativity to flourish. At some point, the weeds of society and our educating system don’t prune that creativity, when eventually it gets to a point where we become an abandoned house strangled by ivy.
As I look back at my time in school and the education system as a whole, what I see is a machine designed to mould us into reflections of our elders. Secondary school doesn’t let us harness that creativity as much, yet it gets us ready for the ‘biggest tests of our lives’. Is that what the challenges of life have come to, GCSEs and A Levels? In primary school, creativity and imagination is encouraged on the most part but there’s always that kid that sits at the back of the class drawing extravagant pictures, instead of learning long division. Whilst long division is important, although my iPhone calculator has made that skill redundant, is creativity of that nature not equally as important? At what point do we discard creativity and imagination and regard it as secondary to other skills?
If children were left to explore that creativity and imagination, whilst being nurtured, perhaps maybe when they grow up, they could be more confident to pursue individual projects where they are able to let their ideas grow. Granted, some children aren’t as creative as others however should their strengths be given more attention? We reside in a world where much is becoming stagnant, be it media, institutions or education. However, if children were taught to really creatively solve problems and let their minds’ wander, new life could be breathed into society and our way of doing things. I have a theory that people who explore their creative side are likely to be more open-minded to new ways of doing things – in fact I’d say it’s a solid theory.
I frequently observe people on Twitter ridiculing others for ‘forcing creativity’ – that in itself is incredibly absurd. We’re all born with a creative streak, just as we are all born with a part of us that can reason logically. It is just that one skill shines brighter in some more than others. This idea that people can ‘force creativity’ is part of the problem I’ve just mentioned. By saying this, you’re inhibiting others from exploring their imagination because you have not yet grasped that skill you possess yourself. In the midst of everything that’s happening in the world, is it really a bad thing that people are exploring the depths of their minds to find a creative outlet? Ask yourself this; is that what you will say to your child when they are sketching, that they are ‘forcing creativity’?