Intelligence and Creativity

Intelligence and Creativity - born in Freedom not Conformity
Times Ascent | 5 October 2010 | Samadarshini

How can we create a radically new society - A society where our leaders are free of greed and our systems free of corruption; a society where kindness and mutual well-being can be the norms by which we live?

What prevents us from doing it? Is it the lack of collective will or is it that the system is so set that it inadvertently sucks everyone into its quagmire? Is it the system or is it us? Where lies the cause and where lies the solution?

 

Dhammapada, an ancient Buddhist text says – ‘All you are is a result of your thinking.’ Our individual histories, our organisational histories are a result of our thinking. It is the result of our millennia-old survival driven conformist thinking. This fossilised thinking structure is driven into us by our schools, parents, society and the entire gamut of civilisation itself.

Come to think of it how can we think the old way, feel the old way, act the old way and yet expect a new life, a new world?

Environmentalists are crying hoarse, yet we find our cities and villages turning into polythene dump yards day by day. We are tired of corruption, yet the common man has to bribe his way to security and success. We all want to live peacefully yet make our most intimate relationships into battle fields for dominance.

To think anew is not to follow a new set of ideals. It is only possible with a new consciousness, with a new awareness. Awareness alone can break habit.

Let us ask this question today – how long does it take for a habit to form? 6 years, 6 months, 6 weeks, 21 days? What if you did something diligently for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year for 20 years of your life? Would that be sufficient time to mould your neurological circuits and psychological frameworks into a habit? There is sufficient research in the world today to show that if you chose to become an adept at something, you need to put in 10000 hours of practice. That is what it takes to create an Andre Agassi and a Beatles.

What has it taken to create the kind of society that we have collectively created today?

CONVENTIONAL EDUCATION
CONVENTIONAL PARENTING
CONVENTIONAL RELIGION

Day after day, ever since you are a child you are trained into suppressing your unease, your complaint, and your exuberance. Whether a child finds the class interesting or not, he/she has no choice but to endure it. Whether a child feels loved or hated, he/she has to go through the servile expression of obedience and to suffer it. We are trained into living without much choice.

Your parents tell you what to think about academics, sports, marriage etc. Your parents tell you how much you should feel, for what you should feel and why you should feel. Feel for your brother’s troubles, because he is your blood relation, do not feel too much for the hungry dog on the road because it can distract you from your exams.

Scripture tells you what you should desire and what you should not. Do we really need to be told so much? Can we not be taught to enquire and find out for ourselves? Is that not a better way to live? Is that not a happier way to live?
On a daily basis we have not asked ourselves, ‘What do I love to do?’, ‘How do I make my activity more enjoyable?’, ‘How do I do this differently?’ or ‘How can I bring greater joy into this relationship?’

In our struggle for survival, we have got emotionally muted. To see someone depressed on the adjoining table doesn’t affect us. To see someone humiliated doesn’t pinch us unless we are driven by the fear that someday it could happen to us. We are truly survival driven.

If we were to reflect on our own lives, our fatigue, our disappointments, our pleasures, our achievements, then probably as parents one most important question that would come up our minds would be – Do I want my children to live the same way I live?

If the answer is yes, go ahead, return to your everyday business as usual. If the answer is a passionate desire to gift a new life, to breakaway from the old, remember you have the potential to be the parent of a new generation. We may not always be able to prevent the stifling effects of conventional education, but we can be the parents of a new world order. Let us bring awareness into the sacred experience of parenting.

Is there a possibility we are repeating what our parents did to us or we are reacting to what they did not do to us? Is that why we correct our children too often, we appreciate them less? We ask them to study too much and play less. We make them feel bad about themselves and not nourish their uniqueness; we worry about their confidence and call it arrogance while we appreciate their stress.

Amusing attitudes.

Intelligence and creativity are born in freedom, not conformity.

Let us create a new beginning.


Author :
Samadarshini
Senior Faculty, One World Academy

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