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Creativity: An Essential Skill to Develop in the 21st Century

Ruby writes from the Philippines. She teaches college courses including Speech and Theater Arts, etc. She enjoys reading and gardening.

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What is creativity?

What is creativity? Have you ever asked this question yourself before? The word creativity means different things to different people. Many things have been written and said about it. But what is creativity really? And who are considered creative? Several people and authors have tried to define creativity in many ways. They view creativity in different perspectives depending upon how they look at it. Here are some of them. "Creativity is intelligence having fun," claims one of the greatest and most influential physicists of all time Albert Einstein. To him, to be considered creative, demands that someone must be inventive or imaginative at the same time enjoying while doing it.Creativity “is the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others” asserts Robert Franken.

Creativity “is the ability to create products that are original and adaptive original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work” realizes Cher-Yi Tan, et al.

Creativity "is the process of bringing something new into being. Creativity requires passion and commitment. It brings to our awareness what was previously hidden and points to new life. The experience is one of heightened consciousness: ecstasy” believes Rollo May.

But for me, Creativity is the drive within an individual, to produce something extraordinary, out of anything ordinary. It is going beyond the conventional and usual procedure of doing things or as often done by others within the bounds of God's standards.

Biblical Concepts of Creativity

1. Creativity is embedded in every human being.

The Bible declares,So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27,NLT).

Many people claim that only a few people are creative. For example, only the geniuses or inventors have creativity. However, if you observe, the verse above closely it says, “humans were created in God’s image.” Whose image? God. And our God is the Master Designer who created this marvelous and magnificent universe. Just try to gaze at this world He has created. Isn't it so intricate? Isn't it unimaginable. It is beyond human description and even comprehension. So, if that is the kind of God who created us, how can we, His created beings, not be creative? In other words, this verse simply reminds us that each human being has been created by our Creator with such an embedded creativity in us.

2. Creativity is endowed by God, the Creator.

The Scripture says, “31 The Lord has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. 32 He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. 33 He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft”(Exodus 35:31-33, NLT).

From this verse, we can infer that the source of creativity is God himself. God being our Creator, endowed creativity to humans. He is the ultimate Source of this creativity. Even the people in the Old Testament were already recipients of those creativity as we see in the text above. This is the same with us today as His created beings. God Himself, the Creator has has endowed each one with creativity.

3. Humans were designed by God to be creative.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them"(Ephesians 2:10, NKJV).

God, our Creator has designed human beings to be people of creativity. We were designed by God with brains that think, innovate, and imagine. We are not robots and we should never be who simply wait to be dictated. We all have the capacity to invent something, to redesign and make things better. We were created to do excellent works for the glory of our mighty Creator.

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Reasons to Develop Creativity in the 21st Century

1. Creativity spurs self-motivation.

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Creativity forces self-motivation. A creative person cannot stop himself from moving to do or create something. Self-motivation is the force that moves people to do certain things in several different ways. This ability to motivate oneself which is called self-motivation is a vital skill in the 21st century especially when most people now are on their own. Be it at home, in school, at work, or in activities. Self-motivation drives people to keep moving despite difficulties and challenges.

2. Creativity pushes improvement.

Creative thinking allows people to come up with novel concepts which are different from the previous ones. It challenges and forces them to change their deep-rooted systems that may no longer be relevant to the current situation. This activity helps people in a team, organisation or establishment to generate programs and services that are unique and different from their competitors.

3. Creativity lays the foundation for success.

Creativity is vital to the success of any individual or organisation. When people are creative, it drives people to cooperate, collaborate and work towards achieving a common goal. In a collaborative team or environment, it inspires individuals to come up with ideas without being judged or curtailed. This brings out outcomes or results that are positive.

4. Creativity helps to solve complex problems.

Creativity is necessary in order to hurdle common blocks towards fulfilling certain goals of an individual or establishment. If an individual or organisation runs into a complicated situation with lots of roadblocks along the way, creative methods may help remove those roadblocks and come up with excellent solutions.

5. Creativity fosters personal contentment.

“A study conducted by Cher-Yi Tan, et al. 2021, entitled “Being Creative Makes You Happier: The Positive Effect of Creativity on Subjective Well-Being, reveals that

There is a “positive relationship between creativity and well-being.” It also “demonstrates that creativity is beneficial to subjective well-being,” the study states. The research continues, “People who have the opportunity to express their creativity, and have more skills for solving problems, are more resilient in the face of change and more fulfilled in their daily lives. And they are physically healthier.”

6. The world we are in now has become so complex.

In the past, life seemed so simple. People lived in a way that was less complicated. However, today it's totally a different world. Because the new normal world where we are in right now is so complicated, we also need to find ways to come up with means to cope with the new normal as they call it. Thus, the 21st century requires more creativity on our part in order to survive and continue to exist.

7. Creativity is a 'must have' survival skill, in the 21st century.

In order to survive in the 21st century, we all need Creativity. With so much problems of different types today, creativity is a must. With so much conflicts and chaos, creativity is required. We need it in order to learn how to approach and face the vicissitudes of life.

Creativity is a skill needed in the 21st century.

Final Thoughts

This modern world is becoming too complex for people to figure out. So much things have changed. The world has become chaotic and things so confusing. Right things appear to be wrong, and wrong things seem to be right. From the society, to morality, from politics to technology everything appears to be so complicated. The 21st century is indeed a period that requires a lot of creativity due to the complexity it has brought to us. The Scripture tells us, "3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,..."2 Timothy 3:1-3, KJV). And the list could go on. Thus, this is the very reason for Creativity.

© 2022 Ruby Campos

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