When creativity is brought up in any conversation, the first and only thing most

people think of tends to be the fine arts. Painting a picture, writing a song and

other artistic endeavors obviously take creativity; they start with nothing, or basic

raw materials, and end up with something unique and a clear result of the human

mind. On the other hand, fields that aren’t as creation-based, like the sciences,

tend to be seen as less creative. Unfortunately, a lack of creativity tends to imply

dullness, which is rather insulting to people studying fields that are apparently

“dull.” But are they really formulaic dullness?

First we need to know what creativity is. The word creative has a rather clear

connection to the word create. A comprehensive definition of creativity would be

the ability to create new things. So, as before, the fine arts obviously qualify as

they are creating artistic works. However, other fields also qualify. Take science

for example; if there’s a new problem to be solved, figuring out how to solve the

problem is going to require the creativity to figure out a workable solution. The

liberal arts also require creativity to find ways to take multiple bits of information,

often conflicting, and find ways to piece everything together.

Creativity is hard to avoid. People need things done, and often creativity is

needed to think up new ways to do things, especially when a situation hasn’t

come up before. It is perhaps one of the greatest abilities that humans have that

sets us where we are in relation to a more natural state. Instead problems have

been solved, inventions have been invented, and, of course, culture has been

embraced. So it’s not surprising that nearly every field of human thought involves

some level of creativity.

In a way, there’s a bit of a drive to be creative that also lends itself to so many

different fields. Learning by rote tends to be considered the most boring form of

learning, and it’s also the least creative. Having to use higher-order thinking

requires some creativity to design and then some in implementation. This may

explain some of the bad taste associated with some areas of knowledge. Take

mathematics for example. Many people’s experience with mathematics is doing

repetitive problems with a single method, and then moving to a new method. The

methods also tend to be handed right to students, leaving little room for creativity

and thus leading to boredom. On the other hand, people who love mathematics

are probably working on the problems without immediately clear answers and

have to create roundabout solutions.

Essentially, creativity is one of the key aspects of being human, and it makes

sense that it would penetrate into so many facets of human knowledge. Thus,

while artists are clearly creative, that fact doesn’t detract from the creativity of

people in every other field. Further, the intertwined nature of creativity and

interest makes most fields interesting to at least some people, and no field is truly

dull.

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch. Contact

Nichole Smith at torch@valpo.edu.

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