Do you believe in human creativity? Does art matter? A creative person would say ‘yes,’ but does anyone else care? I’ve struggled with those questions for a long time; perhaps you have, too. Happily, I found this TED talk by Ethan Hawk and it answers so many questions for me: Yes, creativity IS vital. Why is that true? Click play, and take notes. If you’re struggling to define yourself, find your voice, this ~9 soliloquy will make you feel seen:
As Hawke explains, through life is full of good times, heartbreak, ecstasy, sorrow, and victory. How do we process those emotions when they happen? Who do we go to to validate their existence and understanding what they mean? It’s not something you can find at the bottom of a whiskey bottle or in some pills. Believe me, I’ve tried. Run as far as you want, as fast as you can, life will bring you back to the lessons you refuse to learn.
But then it gets worse: Humanity as a species suffers from metacognition – we’re aware of being aware – and in that recognition, we need to know: Has anyone else ever felt this way? How did they get through it? What did they do with their experience? The answer to all of these world-changing, life-impacting questions is simple: This is why creativity is vital. We need a way to put those feelings, questions, and fears outside of ourselves. We can look at them, share them with others, and get answers we’d otherwise never get.
But creativity is more than art, as you’ll learn. Sometimes it’s being a leader, or a pioneer of discovery. Oftentimes it’s expressed in simple ways, like a web designer creating a logo or teachers making up a new lesson plan. Wherever your spark comes from, it’s important to recognize it and be willing to walk through that door. I started doing that several years ago when I started writing short stories and working on Mesh. While it hasn’t been easy to navigate the world inside that door, I’m infinitely better off because I did.
Yes, creativity is vital. I knew I knew that before, but this TED talk helps me put those feelings into words now. Very grateful I found this and I hope you enjoy it, too.