Daily Paradox - Written by John Bittleston on Sunday, April 29, 2012 20:58 - 1 Comment
The dangers of not developing adequate creativity are many. They are seldom discussed and little recognised. Today we see the consequences of a lack of creativity all around us. Notwithstanding that we are inventing new products and services faster than ever; or that ways of entertaining us are exploited with fewer inhibitions than before; or the wild and irresponsible creativity of the financial system declaring new money daily without reference to the impact on existing money; despite all of these, personal creativity is in decline.
Where once people had the time and incentive to make their own amusements they now depend on others to provide them. Where once talk between friends, between parents and children, between teachers and pupils formed the major part of learning, today education has become little more than exam passing and career equipping. Now we communicate by abbreviated sms and occasional URL link to someone else’s ideas.
Increasingly the sms provides the landlubbers version of the SOS sent by mariners lost in an uncharted ocean. The analogy is significant.
There is much discussion about the sanctity of life, often in the context of voluntary suicide or planned euthanasia. An individual’s right to life is critically important but to treat it as the only criterion for proving mankind’s humanity misses the point. It is not right to physical life that is overwhelmingly important but right to the life of the spirit.
However you perceive or believe the spirit of mankind to be manifest, and regardless of whether it involves religious belief, it is that spirit which defines us. It follows that it is only by developing that spirit that we can develop as a species.
The wealth of the world depends on both the ability to create resources and the ability to enjoy them. So much emphasis has been placed on the creation of them that we have forgotten how important their appreciation is. A thing of beauty is to be shared, not to be locked away from view.
If this seems ‘far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife’ to earn a crust I fear you are not seeing the way the world is changing. The need for labour is inexorably declining. Are we preparing for the day when there are so few jobs that people will pay to do them? Of all today’s needs for creativity that of helping people to fill their days and lives usefully and rewardingly is more important than any other.
In the next Daily Paradox articles I shall suggest how to rekindle our creative instinct and make it work for a life of joy, not just a treadmill of labour.
We should, after all, be preparing for a global village, not a global courthouse.
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by John Bittleston
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Companies that have a culture of recognising that a team is a group of individuals dedicated to a common cause – but individuals first, last and all the way through – is worth investing in.