Creativity, diversity are strengths



Because a lot of readers will probably never meet me in person, I thought I might mention up front I am a creative type. While it might go without saying for someone in my profession, it brings up something which has been on my mind.

In general, creative types are not appreciated in society, and I think particularly so in American society. There seems to be far too much value placed on conformity and uniformity as some kind of pseudo-replacement for unity, which is an entirely different thing.

There is a lot of division just in American society, but this one is threatened and stamped out early in childhood, making kids color inside of the lines, not be left-handed, not express their selves in how they dress, repressing artistic flair in the male of the species and hundreds of other little ways we are forced to conform to what people view as ‘normal’.

Now, as an adult, I know there is no normal, but there is a lot of sameness. When I see a subdivision full of houses which all look alike, I shudder a little inside. If this year you managed to see “A Wrinkle in Time” you might know what I am talking about. Although I haven’t see the movie, my memory of the story goes something like this.

The hero of the story get stuck in a universe where everyone is forced into uniformity and it describes a place where all the houses are the same and the children all go outside at the same time each day in the same clothes, and play with the same ball. Of course, this world is ruled by an evil brain who the hero defeats, and all is right with the world again.

My two children, both also creative types, had a very difficult time in public school, which of course is designed to turn out models of society who get a job, get married, pay taxes and die. The school environment as currently designed makes no room for those who have talents in specific areas, and the only way to grow and nurture those talents is to be one of the lucky few who have a family support system which enables them financially or otherwise to be able to pursue their dreams and talents in creative fields.

Now I know some of you will argue this is possible for all, but really it isn’t—look up Adverse Childhood Events. Creativity can be produced on demand, but it’s not the same quality as allowing and nurturing creative expression from the get-go.

Although the world today allows a great deal more individual expression than in the past, I find it sad people aren’t valued as individual and honestly believe our world could be so much more beautiful and just if only it was a matter of course to nurture and educate in the way natural talents lie.

Paula Schmidt is a reporter for the View Newspapers. Contact her at 810- 452-2647 or email

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