A definition of CREATIVITY
from Prof. KEN ROBINSON:

CREATIVITY DEFINITION

Lets consider the above definition of creativity from Sir Kenneth Robinson: and how neglect of creativity in education has impaired our culture, and what can be done to reverse this.  (He's also HILARIOUS in parts.)




So, in this video, you've heard Sir Kenneth Robinson discuss our society's refusal to acknowledge the vital role that the arts [and, of course music] play in our society.

But here, I'd to address this issue from a slightly different aspect:

THE DEFINITION OF CREATIVITY DOES NOT INCLUDE "MADNESS":

A SOCIAL STIGMA

Do you remember a time from childhood when you first dreamed about becoming a creative artist? And when you innocently expressed that idea to your parents, did they freak out? [Either quietly or not so quietly.]

Did they do their best to discourage you or did they even directly attempt to prevent you from involving yourself in the arts, or music?

And did they give you this one? “It's OK if you want to dabble in it, but you could never make a career out of it."

And did they really do this so as to "protect" you from the "damaging influences of those mentally unstable people" - Artists and Creators?

The above is just a personal example, but it has been widely observed that those who work in the arts, and creative people in general, have had to contend with a certain social stigma for a VERY long time. And that stigma is expressed in false definitions of creativity and destructive attitudes about creativity and “creativity myths” such as:

"The artist is mad",

"The artist HAS TO BE mad",

"Creativity is similar to madness", or the worst one,

"Creativity IS madness – only DISGUISED in another form".

You can see this “message” wherever you care to look: in magazine articles, scholarly journals, 'scientific [actually pseudo-scientific] studies', and 'pop-psych' biographies about those "poor-tormented-creative-people-who-despite-all-their-brilliance-led-tragic-lives".

It is put forth continually in a torrent of slanted information from 'the experts': Their definition of creativity starts and stops with: "the artist is crazy", "the creative process is connected with insanity", ad nauseum.

And in these second and third-hand evaluations of people they never knew or even had lunch with, “the experts” attribute both the artist's joy and his sorrow to his "inner muse" being one and the same entity as his "inner demon".

So sad, and so COMPLETELY WRONG!

But, you see how this "reasoning" goes: "Creative people are too similar to madmen. For that reason, they are unstable and impractical. We have to be PRACTICAL, therefore let's save our money for PRACTICAL things, like math and science...". This bias is so widespread and SEEMS so convincing and true that no one on a budget committee would ever question it.

In working with artists and musicians I've observed that such a wrong creativity definition as: "an aspect of insanity" can and does insidiously contaminate the thinking of the ARTISTS THEMSELVES to the point that THEY even believe these mistaken notions are true!

But it doesn't stop there; When the prevailing definition of creativity includes mental illness as an essential element, that means that artists and creative persons' gifts are being attributed to some DYSFUNCTION.

This can DEFINITELY have the effect of hampering and discouraging them from creating, of course.

Worse, it can prevent such creative individuals from even coming into existence.

And so our very culture and society itself incurs great harm by being denied the work and inspiration of the very people who would save it.

Let's look further with Prof. Ken Robinson into developing a practical definition of creativity in the schools:


How does SANITY fit in with a definition of creativity? Here's further info:

Here are some wonderful exercises in creativity and inspiration from Benjamin Zander

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