Creativity and Life

The Return of the Archons
Star Trek (c) Paramount Studios
"Without Freedom of Choice, there is no Creativity. Without Creativity, there is No Life." 
Captain James T. Kirk in 'The Return of the Archons'.

I recently saw this quote and it got me thinking. Yes, thinking can hurt and it’s a favorite tease in my house. As I reflect on the quote, I can’t help wonder about the accuracy of the words.

I’ve known my entire self-aware life that humans only grow and thrive because of the challenges we face and overcome. What I had never considered before was just how we figure out what we need to do to overcome and grow.

Just how did we advance our species from a caveman to the technological society we enjoy today? Assuming we don’t destroy ourselves, I presume our species will grow exponentially. Who knows where we’ll be a thousand years from now. Just look how far we’ve come in the last thousand years.

creative in printed dictionaryAs I considered the question, it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps the answer to the question was our capacity to be creative. Not just in the arts but also in the sciences. As a whole, our species have a tremendous talent to think outside the box. We can consider a question and instead of looking for the immediate answer, we also look at both relevant and unrelated concepts to determine whether there is something there that can advance the answer.

If this quote is true and I have no reason to believe otherwise, it’s our creativity that allows us to grow and thrive. It’s our creativity that advances us one after the other.

Consider if you will what would we, as a species, be like if we did not have any sort of creativity. Take any example in the history of the human race. Keeping it simple, let’s postulate this scenario. You live on an island and you eat the fruit of the tree to live on. There’s plenty of fruit and you eat readily. It’s all you’ve ever eaten, It’s all you have ever needed to eat. Year after year, you eat the fruit and nothing else. After all, there’s plenty to go around and you’ve never wanted for anything else.

Then one day, a storm comes through and wipes out every single fruit tree and the crop you’ve come to depend on is suddenly gone. A few days later, you’re hungry. You’ve never been so hungry in you entire life. You’re starving and on the verge of dying. Yet, living right along with you are chickens, ducks, and other small animals.

If you had never eaten a chicken before, without creativity to solve the problem, would you? Would you eat a chicken? Would you even think to try it? Without the concept of creative thinking, to think beyond your experiences and teachings, I contend that you would not. You would starve to death. If you represent the entire human species, then our species would be extinct.

The Return of the Archons
Star Trek (c) Paramount Studios

I contend and believe that our capacity for creative thought is what allows us to grow, thrive, and advance.

What do you think? Could we do so? Can the human race grow and continue to advance without our capacity for creative thinking?

I look forward to reading your comments. Please, feel free to add to the discussion in the field below.

This is Richard Verry, pondering yet another aspect of life on this planet we all share. Until next time, have a great day!

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