Part 2 of 3
The Intellectual Value of Creativity
Creativity is important to our intellectual development in ways we cant even begin to understand, Im sure.
But there are a couple of specific ways that creativity is valuable intellectually that Id like to address.
First, creativity helps us understand things that we might not otherwise be able to comprehend, by drawing comparisons and looking at similar things in different ways. I often use creative expressions to explain things to my eight-year-old daughter, because while she may not understand that I have bronchitis, she can understand that my lungs are all stopped up like a sponge thats been left in a sink full of water.
Second, physicians who study things like Alzheimers have found that the brain can actually develop new pathways. There is at least one video game thats actually designed to keep your brain young and lively. I havent tried it because its only available on a game system my kids dont have. But I think the idea is very interesting.
I dont think its possible to underestimate the intellectual value of creativity.
The Emotional Value of Creativity
For my money, this is the most important value creativity has.
Think about the last truly creative thing you did. Whether it was design a garden, cook a great dinner, or solve a crossword puzzle, you got a great emotional lift out of it, right?
I think the value of creativity for our emotional well-being is understudied and underutilized. I think in general we dont give ourselves enough credit for being creative or enough time or space to exercise our creative skills.
I think the joy we get from doing something truly creative, whether thats painting a landscape or fricasseeing a chicken, is very valuable.
And heres why I think that.
I think that being creative gives us occasion to feel pride in our own accomplishments. Whether anyone else says, Good job! or not, we know, in our own hearts, that weve done something extraordinary. Something worth being proud of.
We need that feeling of accomplishment. Its important. We need to do things that make us feel good, and creativity is the source of many of those things.
I really believe in the emotional value of creativity.
The Spiritual Value of Creativity
I think this goes along with the emotional value, and Im not going to spend a lot of time on this point, but I think our creativity is what allows us to grow spiritually.
I think our understanding of our spiritual beliefs and our spiritual being is contingent upon our having the imagination to believe in something outside of and greater than ourselves.
And I think creativity plays a major role in that.