I really start on this theme, I need to once again assert that when I talk
about creativity I am talking about it in all forms, not just music and art –
or creating the great innovative breakthrough. Creativity is the ability to
think independently and to come to new solutions, new ways of considering
things, new ways of behaving, etc. It’s being aware of your surroundings and
responding not merely obeying and following. It’s improving processes, treating
people intuitively and allowing yourself to be yourself, not merely a clone of
we watch young children we see them as curious, energetic and incredibly
creative. What happens? Why, as they age
are most of them afraid to take a risk?
seems to me that all too often parents, teachers and others stifle this natural
tendency to explore by making sure kids color within the lines, follow
instructions, do exactly as they are told, follow tradition, and all the other
words we use to force conformity.
happens to the creative kid in school who wants to try a different approach to
solving a problem?
do we see “a nation of sheep” – people who value conformity and “not making
waves” as more important than expression
said, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”?
out is so important.
The world is
a dangerous place,
not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.
my book Conflict in the Workplace: Causes
and Cures, I devote a whole chapter to The
Tyranny of Pleasantness.
people are afraid to speak out because they are seen as not a team player, or contrary,
or some other bad thing, decisions are made that may not be the best. Remember,
the camel is a horse designed by a committee. All too often, the one who sees
it differently – and probably better – has been shut down so often in the past
that he or she stays silent.
women have had the vote if a group of them didn’t speak out? Would the civil rights movement have occurred if people weren’t willing to speak out? Could we
have finally given gays rights if they had reminded silent?
we have stopped the mutilation and the holocaust and the killing fields – if we
had chosen to speak out earlier?
All that is
necessary for evil to happen is for good men to remain silent.
not just about good and evil – what about taking men who had been confined to
wheel chairs because of spinal cord injuries and teaching them they could play
basketball – what about helping to relieve the depression and hopelessness of
quadriplegics by teaching them to write with their mouths – and to have gurney
races down the corridor of their hospital? (P.S. The nurses hated me, but the chief of psychiatry gave me full rein.)
about so many changes that come about because someone is willing to say, “Let’s
not do it the way we’ve always done it – let’s try something different.”?
what about all the innovations that come about because of “kooks”, “nerds”,
“loose cannons”, curmudgeons and “dreamers” – who dare to try?