Twelve Paradoxical Questions on Creativity

Answering both ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ makes you wrong.

I wish almost all questions were like these so that our teachers would not be too busy correcting our answers and marking them appropriately.

Life also presents us with such complexities that sometimes, we don’t know what to answer. Let us say, it is evening and an acquaintance you meet asks you “Have you eaten?”

You are just expected to answer a simple yes or no. However, both the answers are technically wrong to some people. When you say yes, someone may point out that you have not eaten for almost five hours. If you respond negatively, someone else may ask you, have you never eaten anything in your life?

This is exactly why you are discouraged from overthinking. They tell you not to be too smart. ‘‘, is what they will shout at you.

Let us look at these questions.

1. Is Creativity Acquired?

The moment you answer yes, some people start lecturing you about how it is inherited. If you answer no, then another set of people indicate the extent to which someone learned to become highly creative. They may even reel out names to justify why they are right.

2. Are Creativity and Innovation different from one another?

Innovation involves a lot of creativity to think differently. And though creativity signifies novelty, things have to be created from something. Nothing can materialize from nowhere!

3. Can Adults be trained in Creativity?

This is where some people who are into creativity training in corporate firms shout vehemently a yes. Ask your own parents, and they will tell you how much they tried the training on you when you were a child. When things did not change then, do you think it will do so now?

4. Are Creative people ignored and sidelined by society?

Every person on earth thinks he or she is creative. They will definitely voice their opinion and scream yes. Ask some CEOs and they will tell you how much effort they put in to encourage talented people! Not one of them is ignored or sidelined, they will claim.

5. Is Creativity dangerous?

‘Of course, it is!’ You can hear some of them shout. They will point out all the evil things that have been created by mankind: what about guns, the atom bomb, nuclear warheads, Covid 19, etc., are they not dangerous? On the other hand, some will tell us about all the great inventions, discoveries, innovations, and explorations that resulted in the welfare of human life on this planet.

6. Can Creativity be measured?

Psychologists, phenomenologists, philosophers, spiritualists, artists, writers, musicians, and others will readily say yes, whereas a few people become undecided. The majority will come out with a definitive no. “How is it possible? I am being creative throughout my life and no one has given any tests to me!”

7. Are Intelligence and Creativity correlated?

“Should you ask?” Some are so sure that they think these two are the same! Ask the same question to a few specialists, and they vehemently deny it. They claim that the two are unrelated.

8. Does culture play an important role in Creativity?

Sociologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, artisans, and so many others refer to how people could eke out a living because of their cultural heritage of producing things. A few others will immediately show instances of how despite oppression from society, they were able to become highly creative.

9. Should Creative Problem Solving be encouraged in a family?

Try asking this question, and you will know how confused people are! There is nothing spectacular happening in a family to use creative problem-solving techniques. For several others, every minute there are so unique problems that you have to adopt creativity in dealing with them.

10. Is Morality more important than Creativity?

A few people will readily agree and narrate instances where creativity was misused. Besides, some others will enlist how millions were killed in the past because of creativity and innovation. A handful of them says both are unrelated.

11. Are all Creative people rich and famous?

See how much money some of these people are making! This is the answer you will usually get. However, there are millions of creative people who find it difficult to have even two meals a day! Plenty of cases are put forth to prove this point.

12. Can a Creative person be stopped from thinking Creatively?

Oh, Yes! You show him success, and he will stop being creative. How many such cases do you want? On the other hand, some people disagree to say that once a creative person, is always a creative person. Whatever happens, creativity cannot be stopped.

  1. Is Creativity acquired?
  2. Are Creativity and Innovation different from one another?
  3. Can adults be trained in Creativity?
  4. Are Creative people ignored and sidelined by society?
  5. Is Creativity dangerous?
  6. Can Creativity be measured?
  7. Are Intelligence and Creativity correlated?
  8. Does culture play an important role in Creativity?
  9. Should Creative Problem Solving be encouraged in a family?
  10. Is Morality more important than Creativity?
  11. Are all Creative people rich and famous?
  12. Can a Creative person be stopped from thinking Creatively?

These twelve questions are representative of the complexity of the phenomenon of creativity. It is not easy to answer these questions with a simple yes or no. I leave it to you to answer them.

Your answer might enlighten others and prompt them to respond favorably.

Besides, they provide tremendous impetus to our thinking skills.

Don’t you agree?

Originally published at https://sujendraprakash.blogspot.com on December 7, 2020.

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Sujendra Prakash

Formerly Professor & HOD of Department of Psychology; Ph.D. (Faculty of Science - Psychology). Over 39 Years of Experience in Teaching, Training, & Consultation