Understanding the Importance of Creativity


A colorful example of artistic creativity.

Kate Lychik, Staff

“Think outside the box.”

A common saying.

Perhaps common enough to have lost some meaning by now. How often do we really “think outside the box,” extend beyond the barriers barring away our active imagination? How often do we think creatively and how often should we? I suppose the overall encompassing question should be “why is creativity important?”

Creativity is usually associated with art, with imagination and the creation of things appealing to us. That is not incorrect. One could say that this is simply one form or use of creativity, yet this form is just as important as any other.

The making of an art piece or the composition of a piece of music does require an actively imaginative mind. Is art not significant to our society? We love going to museums and concerts to see and listen to someone’s creations; we love seeing food presented in a beautiful arrangement. We would not be able to do those things without some measure of creativity.

I think we all have at least once come across a math problem that we stared at for seemingly hours without a clue as to how to solve it. And then all of a sudden we look at it in a different way, we craft our own path to finding the solution.

This is another form of creativity, though at first it may not have occurred to be such. I hear so many people complaining about how useless math classes are, how they will never serve any purpose in their futures…is that really true? When looking at the broader picture, math classes teach a very important skill and one that will most definitely be used often: finding solutions to problems using out-of-the-ordinary methods.

There are a few that may disregard the significance of thinking creatively but only because the concept itself is misunderstood. Logic and reason are both highly valued in today’s society.

Scientists and engineers are thought of highly but artists and musicians less so. Of course logic is valued for good reason and it is also a very important skill. Due to creativity being seen of as a defining characteristic of an artist it might be undervalued some.

Think about your favorite technological advancement, a smartphone or a video game console. These things could not have come into existence without creativity. In this case it would take the form of innovation: thinking up an idea and going with it, making it into something tangible and enjoyable. How many things would we lose if people had not thought up some outlandish idea and given it form?

All in all, if you enjoy looking at art or listening to music, if you are impressed by the most recent smartphone model then you are enjoying the products of creativity. Open your mind, think outside the box. Do not be afraid to let your imagination run wild. Value creativity.