Dilemma of Creative Personalities
Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. Most of the
things that are interesting, important and human are what makes us
different from apes. Our language, values, scientific understanding, and
artistic expression that was recognized and transmitted through learning.
Creativity is the toughest job but when we're creative, we feel we are
living more fully than during rest of life. But unfortunately in our
society attitude of creative child and person is not acceptable. Creative
children and people do face problems in their lives. If we study
biographies of creative personalities, we come to know that they had
faced great difficulties while coping with the traditional families and
school systems in their childhood. Creative children usually feel
frustration with the institutional attitude. They want an environment
where they can be spontaneous, expressive and explore their potentials.
They usually feel suffocate in the traditional systems, which result some
of them to tolerate such kind of restrictive environment while others
challenge their authorities and become rebel.
Many traditional parents and teachers also experience great difficulties
while coping with their creative children, some parents feel guilty as
parents. But in years and decades later, when these same children become
successful adults and get well respect in their fields whether as
scientist, artists, poets, philosophers, musicians or mystics, they get
appreciation from same parents, family members and teachers for their
talent and worth.
Being a parent and teacher of creative child one must be sensitive to
their creative needs. These kinds of children prefer to follow the trails
of their heart rather than the high ways of tradition. If their creative
efforts are supportive, encouraging and appreciating, then these trails
will become the high ways for the next generation.
According to the Mihaly Csikszentmilhalyi research creative children and
people work long hours with an aura of freshness and enthusiasm. This
does not mean that they usually always "on" hyperactive infact, they rest
often and sleep a lot. Creative personalities alternate between
imagination, fantasy and rooted sense of reality. Great art and great
science is imagination into a world that is different from the present.
The rest of society often views these new ideas, as fantasies with
current reality. And they are right, but the whole point of art and
science is to go beyond what we consider real and the same time.
Most of us assume that artists, musicians, writers, poets, painters are
strong on the fantast side, where as scientists, business people are
realists. This may be true in terms of day to day routine activities. But
when a person begins to work is off.
Michaly spends ten years of her life in the research on creative people.
According to her creative personalities are humble and proud at the same
time and can be both rebellious and conservative. Creative people usually
very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective as
well. Their openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and
pain, yet also to a great deal of enjoyment.
"Inventors have a low threshold of pain. Things bother them"
A badly designed machine car bother engineer, just as bad music to
Dr Khalid Sohail discussed in his book "Islam of secular Humanism...A
philosophical journey" about creative personalities in these words
"When we study the life stories of mystic poets we become to know that
many of them led simple lives. Because of their aptitude and
personalities they did not fit into the formal education systems and
traditional institutions of their times. They were the students of the
University of Life and learnt from their own experiences. One such
example is Walt Whiteman, a mystic poet of nineteenth century, who has
influenced twentieth century American literature more than any other
poet. Although his poems from his collection Leaves of Grass are taught
in colleges and universities all over the world, He himself did not do
well in school. His teacher, Mr. Benjamin Hallech, was so disappointed
with him that he told his father,
"This boy is so idle, I am sure he will never amount to anything"
Whiteman's father, agreeing with the teacher, took him out of school at
age thirteen and asked him to work in a printer's shop. Even at work he
was so preoccupied in his soul searching.
But luckily, in most traditional schools there are a few exceptions.
There are teachers who encourage the spontaneity of children and nurture
their creativity. They support students to think outside the box and
explore their independent thinking and non traditional life style.
Creative students are attracted to such teachers and relatives who
support their unconventional passions. Einstein was also lucky to have
one such teacher in his school. Clark Ronald wrote in his book Einstein
... The Life and Times "His name was Reuss. He tried to make his pupils
think for themselves"
Previous research has indicated that creative people use their right side
of brain but according to new study creative people do think in a
fundamentally different way than every one else. The study showed that
creative people exhibit quite different patterns of brain activity while
going about solving problems, and even just while day dreaming.
The new study led by John Kounios, professor of psychology at Drexel
University and Mark Jung Beeman of North Western University compared the
physiological brain activity of creative versus noncreative problem
solvers. During the study, participants relaxed quietly for seven minutes
while their electroencephalograms (EEGs) were recorded to show their
brain activity. The participants were not given any task to perform and
told they could think about whatever they wanted. Later, they were asked
to solve a series of anagrams- scrambled letters that can be rearranged
to form words. That can be solved by deliberately and methodically trying
out different letter combinations, or they can be solved with a sudden
insight in which the solution pops into awareness. Creative solvers
exhibited greater activity in several regions of the right hemisphere.
Right hemisphere activity occurs even during a "resting" state in those
with a tendency to solve problems by creating insight. This finding
suggests that even the spontaneous thought of creative individuals, such
as in their daydreams, contains more remote associations.
Creative people have been in minority but that minority has been leading
the majority on the journey of human evolution. Arnold Toynbee, a famous
historian, once wrote, "To give a fair chance to potential creativity is
a matter of life and death of any society. This is important because the
outstanding creative ability of a smaller percentage of the population is
mankind's ultimate capital asset"
DR khalid sohail from islam to secular humanism...a philosophical
journey...Abbeyfield Publishers Toronto Canada 2001
Clark, Ronald...Einstein...The life times...World publishing New York USA