Creativity vs. destruction in times of war


I am sad to say – just as we thought we could allow ourselves to stop being concerned about Covid, came Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and another war on European soil. Meanwhile the desperate draught in Andalucía is creating ripples in water reserves we do not have. These are trying times. Which is why I wanted to turn things around and write about something positive – creativity.

Creativity can be defined as the ability to create or recognize ideas, alternatives or possibilities that can contribute to problem-solving, communication or to simply entertain ourselves or others. Creativity can therefore be seen as a true counterpoint to destruction. While destruction – as war – breaks down and ruins, creativity builds and finds solutions.

Humans have always needed creativity, now more than ever. A creative mind does not see things just as they are, but how they potentially can be. Creativity is therefore one of the most important ‘weapons’ we have against destruction. It is an essential resource, as without creativity, nothing new would ever be made or invented. Walt Disney said that “if you can dream it, you can do it”. Without the help of creative souls, there would be no progress and we would be stuck in a rut with the same patterns and habits, and the same old thoughts. Albert Einstein expressed it this way: “Creativity is to see what everyone sees and then think what nobody has thought before.” He believed that fantasy is more important that knowledge, which certainly is true when it comes to innovation.

Picasso named good judgement as the chief enemy of creativity. Creativity in science is to understand that two plus two can just as well be five. Creativity in art is limitless, and there is no wrong way to go about things. And as Salvador Dalí said, you do not need to concern yourself with perfection, as you will never achieve it …

There is no doubt that creativity demands courage, but to be creative and constructive in life, we must learn to let go of our fear of failure. Van Gogh, who had had his share of setbacks, said that if you hear a voice in your head that says that you cannot paint, by all means – paint, and the voices will be silenced. Creativity is the rebel in us. Neither inventions nor creativity would have been able to exist unless creative minds were able to try and fail, but then again, what would life be without a bit of failure?

Newer psychological research shows that creativity isn’t something that is reserved for the artistic lot, nor for the left part of the brain for that matter. So, if you want more creativity and positivity into your life, start practicing and flexing your ‘creativity-muscles’. In times of destruction, creativity is the antidote.

However, I must return to the crisis at hand. The other day I was watching the Norwegian news where they interviewed a young Ukrainian woman living in Norway. She told the reporter how everybody in the Ukraine – from the professional military personnel to her 82-year-old grandma – were willing to fight until death for their country. The thought of this brave and unafraid grandmother remains on my mind as I follow the atrocities that is happening right now merely a few country boarders away from us. So, in this month of March 2022, please help whichever way you can – for the sake of Ukraine and for humanity.

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