Is creativity needed more than ever in the world today?
Is it always better to be original than to imitate or use the ideas of others?
Does planning interfere with creativity?
Can people ever be truly original?
Is it always necessary to find new solutions to problems?
Do people put too much emphasis on learning practical skills?
Do people need to “unlearn,” or reject, many of their assumptions and ideas?
Given the importance of human creativity, one would think it should have a high priority among our concerns. But if we look at the reality, we see a different picture. Basic scientific research is minimized in favor of immediate practical applications. The arts are increasingly seen as dispensable luxuries. Yet as competition heats up around the globe, exactly the opposite strategy is needed.
Adapted from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention
Is creativity needed more than ever in the world today? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.
In a world where economic prosperity and “getting ahead” in work and technology are highly valued, creativity and the arts are often shunted in favor of more “practical” pursuits. Students abandon dreams of acting or painting in order to major in medicine, computer technology, or engineering: highly profitable and scientific fields. Even with the advances in these fields, however, there is still a need for creativity in our world, because seeing things in a new way can make all the difference.
Today, more and more public schools are forced to abandon their arts programs to make time for subjects like science and math: subjects in which all students must have a basic knowledge in order to succeed in higher education. However, by leaving these programs behind, children are deprived of the creative stimulation that the arts provide, and are taught to view the world in “black and white” terms: one right answer to every problem. With a view such as this, how will children perform in the future? It may be assumed that all people will see things the same way, and propose only one solution to a problem, failing to see the bigger picture.
Creativity has obviously influenced earlier generations in a positive way, so there is no need to eliminate creativity from our world. What would have happened if Franklin Roosevelt had never proposed his New Deal? The Great Depression might have persisted for some time, robbing even more families of their chance at prosperity and happiness. However, by proposing a new, creative solution for the problem of the U.S.’s depression, FDR pulled the nation out of its slump. Another example of how creativity has positively influenced the world happened just recently, with the introduction of hybrid cars. These new cars do not rely on as much oil as other cars do in order to operate, using alternative energy sources instead. Without the creative minds behind the invention of these cars, the world would rely so much on its limited oil reserves that fuel would eventually run out. Because of creativity, the world has a chance to find other energy sources.
Though these practical applications for creativity are conducive to everyone, the common man benefits even more from the stimulation that the arts provide. In a world dominated by political powers and torn apart by war, entertainers in the arts can inspire hope and change in everyone. A child watching a Charlie Chaplin film might decide to join the gymnastics team, or a woman observing a Monet painting in a museum might become an elementary school art teacher: who knows? The arts can transport people to other places, into different ways of thinking.
The importance of creativity in the world today is enormous, for it has both pragmatic and “important” applications. Creativity is both a source for inspiration and a problem-solving method, and without it, our world would greatly suffer.