The End of The Creative Process!
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.
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