The End of The Creative Process!

Reality 101

We're going to hit the ground running with our first lesson in reality and since schools thrive on acronyms, let's do PDA (Politics, Drugs, and Academics), the end of creativity.

I just read an excellent article by hubpages' own 'Old Poolman' and it was based on a possible conspiracy about dumbing down Americans, especially through our school systems (note: link to this hub is at the end of this article). He and I both detest the word conspiracy, but he makes a valid point about what is lacking in our school systems and/or society that makes us a nation lagging seriously behind in intelligence and aptitude.

Politics: We've been steadily approaching a system in which individuality is discouraged. We've spent years striving to become a melting pot yet America was built on individuality. Political agendas have enforced the notion of being accepting, politically correct, and loving everybody for the sole purpose to get along despite laws even.

Now we have a boiling pot; one that begins to boil from the bottom and burst overflowing out the top from years of repressed resentment. Actually, it just makes people stick to those who are similar to them and not venture outside of their comfort zone. The forced togetherness is backfiring and inadvertently encouraging separation. The creativity sparked by relationships and discussions with those different from us is a thing of the past- we all must agree about everything. We are paralyzed in fear of disagreement and differences.

How would politicians know anything about creativity?Most are groomed and methodically prepared for the position. They have an abundance of ambition and need to achieve, but are not in any way gifted, creative, or possess exceptional skills.

As 'Old Poolman' noted in his article, the dumbing down of America is happening perhaps on a level so slight and underhanded that we aren't directly noticing it, but the consequences are beginning to become apparent. I have, however, noticed a decline in the focus on creativity whether in our schools or the constant need to be happy and adjusted with everyone else.

Drugs: I'm not the best spokesperson for recreational drug use because I've never tried any, but I'm not high enough on life to be blind to the numerous creative works stemming from them; Sigmund Freud on opiates was a great thinker and contributer to psychology. Musical groups especially in the 1960's, artistic works from any era, and the list goes on. I'm certainly not reccommending the use of drugs. In fact, I would like people to think twice about drug use, including and especially prescriptions. The use and abuse of recreational/illegal drugs is always on the radar, but what about prescription happy pills?

Happy pills/drugs are ruining the creative process in our society today. Being a psychology graduate, I've always been disturbed by the solution to drug kids. If I said to my doctor I was mad at the world and didn't feel like I belong then he'd immediately prescribe happy pills to me, maybe some sleeping pills too, but I do my best creative work when I'm discouraged and can't sleep. Think of the creative works done by so-called tortured souls.

Incredibly talented and creative people such as Dickens, Newton and Churchill were reported to suffer from psychiatric disorders. Dickens had to keep busy or he got depressed. He wrote more than one book at a time while being involved in several other activities simultaneously. Many fascinating people are disturbed in some way or at least from time to time. Now, we are saying that's wrong or abnormal and here comes the happy pills; Ritalin, Prozac, Zoloft, etc.

"Those who are at ease with themselves are just not motivated, so we should not be surprised that many creative people are disturbed," A Dr Storr said (1999 Times Newspapers Ltd). "Mankind has only developed because we are not perfectly adapted to our environment and we need to be inventive to survive. If we were pre-programmed to behave in a particular way, like lower animals, there would be no reason to alter anything. We are creative because we have the capacity to imagine something better all the time."

Academics: The schools are hurting, financially and academically. Cutting funding for courses like Physical Education and Music is ridiculous when extra funding is being provided for schools to be energy efficient or environmentally friendly. The reduction and absence of physical activity/education effects creativity and memory, not just the kids' expanding waistlines.

There is a lot of effort within the school system to ensure all kids are status quot and at same levels. There is no attention to kids who excel in one area and not another. Instead of growing their gift, we make them spend less time on it and additional time on the area they aren't as gifted at. I can't explain to you how disturbing this was to me as a child. I gave up recreational writing for years, and still don't have the natural gift I used to possess as a kid, all due to being awful at other courses and spending majority of my time on them. You know, the Algebra I never use.

Think about the great thinkers, philosophers, inventors, classic composers, writers of many years ago. This is rare to see nowadays. We've taken out creativity and exercise in many school curriculums. In fact, when I was in grade school through High school I noticed the more homework I got, the less extra studying or reading books on my own I wanted to do.

What is taught in every class is to be average or the bare minimum. That bare minimum is a lot of useless busy work. Keeping kids busy gives them less time obviously and time is creativity's best friend. We need to have some time on our hands or to be bored to be creative. Other creativity squashers in schools are competition for rewards, deadlines, lack of choices, and conformity. One-size-fits-all is a scarf size, not a school curriculum.

More by this Author


Comments 16 comments

msorensson profile image

msorensson 5 years ago

I agree with your observations especially about the school system. The one thing..the most important thing in schooling anyone is the ability to think for themselves. I have seen this again and again..that the college students are not able to do so....

Thank you. I enjoyed the hub.


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az.

Laura,

This may be one of your best pieces in my humble opinion. OldPoolman is my neighbor and friend. He doesn't miss much, and neither do you. You know if I have healthy criticism, I throw it out there, but this is very professional in my unprofessional opinion.

Hope everythings good, Drop me an e-mail when you've got the time.

jim


katrinasui profile image

katrinasui 5 years ago

Very nice hub. Congrats on completing 100 hubs:)


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

Laura,

Great hub and thanks for the plug to my hub. This declining quality of education is a great concern to me. My biggest issue is identifying those persons responsible for this problem and making the necessary changes and adjustments. It is like hunting ghosts, invisible people who made decisions and changes, yet can't be identified or held responsible for their mistakes. We need to be number one when it comes to education, and we need to put the right people in the right places to get this done. Wish I had the answers, but all I have are more questions. The very first thing we need is a loud cry of outrage from the citizens of this country who can't live with the fact we are now number 23.

Great Hub Laura, let's keep this one going so people wake up to what is happening around them.


fucsia profile image

fucsia 5 years ago

I really like your critical thinking and your stimulating ideas

I am not so pessimistic, I think that we can be creatives and we can defends ourselves from limits of our society. Our modern world, compared to what it once was, is full of opportunity... and limits, it is clear.... Also in the past there were many limits....

Very great pages, Food for thought


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA

Howdy izettl - Although drugged-out and inebriated people may believe themselves to be "more creative." the fact is that they really are not. They may be less inhibited, but that is not the same thing.

Gus :-)))


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

Great Hub. The curriculums have been watered down and we are raising a less creative people. Passing standardized tests seem to be the main goal now. I do believe that the public school systems need to be reorganized and Charter Schools need to be expanded. They are a hotbed for great innovations. I wrote a Hub regarding this subject. I also agree with you that we must not cut subjects such as music, art, etc. We also need a well rounded and culturally astute citizenry.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Thakns everyone for the great comments.

msorensson, you know exactly what I mean. and thank you tmwnp- I'l email you soon. This week is deadline week.

fucsia~ You see it a pessimism and I see it as reality. As a kid who went to public school and college, witnesses and experienced the dumbing down of my creativty or ability to think for myself instead of always thinking of learning only what I knew would be on a test, there is no denying this is happening. Many teachers are aware and frustrated by it too. They wanted teach to make a difference but they're told what to teach by standardized curriculums, etc. It's a fact not a debate or point of view. if you see how much time the average kid does not have compared to decades ago, you'll see a kid has less time for creativity and exploration.

Howdy Gus~ I agree with you about being less inhibited. That's a great point.

HShneider~ I'll read you hub on this.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

American schools are based on the progressive philosophy of John Dewey. I have thought that he dumbing down started with the Educations Schools. There are some good teachers but I think it is in spite of their train and not because of it.I think the best teachers are ones who really love the subject matter they teach that they present it with great enthusiasm.When I looked into teaching as a career I was disappointed to find that subject mater was not a great part of the curriculum.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

dahoglund~ I completely agree with all of your statements. I also looked into being a teacher and was discouraged.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love this hub and you share the fact about what happen outside. I learn much from you. Thanks for writing this. I give my vote to you. God bless you.

Prasetio:)


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

prasetio30~ Thank you so much for reading and for the nice comments.


Elefanza profile image

Elefanza 5 years ago from Somewhere in My Brain

Very good points! I did some student teaching (I was also an education major) and it was sad to see how school has become geared for standard test-taking. I still managed to throw in a fair amount of creative stuff and the students loved it. I had this one assignment where I had them write speeches and some of them rushed up to me because they were so eager to get feedback on their work. It was awesome!

I was fortunate in the sense that while my hs lacked the normal social experience, I had an amazing English experience that really encouraged creativity. I even had the opportunity to write a short story on hell (quite the awesome experience).

You should check this video out if you get a chance. It talks about much of the same things and you'd prob. find yourself nodding in agreement. http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools...


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

So you noticed the enthusiasm and how kids crave creative endeavors. I had a few great and creative teachers that really stood out to me. Being creative with things also trigger child's memory and would help them remember things better for tests.

I'll check the video out. Thanks.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

Good points, well made. I am always battling this attitude of dumbing down creative process in the interest of paper academic outcomes. There has been a downward spiral of creative curriculum but I feel there is still enough outliers who fight the system to prevent dumbing down and 'medicalising' everything. I infuse as much creativity in professional education and the students love it. Voted up!


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

Docmo~ You know just what I'm talking about. I think this all started for me in about 5th grade all the way through college. I am glad you can get creativity in wherever you ca. THanks for being a fan and stopping by to leave a comment.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working