Recently I was driving past a school which had one of those signs they use to put messages up outside schools. It read “Creativity is intelligence. Have fun!”
It was in the middle of nowhere, on a school sign and felt like a little gift at the time. It seemed to sum up for me what is sometimes missing for me in my own life at times and in the world around me.
Academic achievement was valued in my family and I am certainly all for education. I have more than one degree which I don’t say to mean anything other than I am academically focussed.
I find what has been missing for me is fun and creativity. As I gain more awareness about what is important in my life I am valuing creativity much more. It is, as the sign said, intelligence.
There are many forms of intelligence: mental, emotional, creative and spiritual intelligence. In the education many of us grew up with academic intelligence was the only kind to be fully validated. What a delight to see a school that celebrates creativity and fun. For it is surely in the play, fun and imagination that true creative genius arises.
Surely the people considered the most intelligent people were also very creative. In fact true genius could be said to be a combination of creativity and intelligence. Most famous inventors artists and visionaries have had moments of pure inspiration. There have been many stories of the ‘answer’ just coming to these inventors. This inspiration comes from a combination of a knowledge of their field and moments of intuition where they just knew the answer.
Archimedes discovered the relationship of volume and density to water displacement when he was in the bath.
Leonardo Da Vinci who was considered a vast intellect was also purported to have had a visionary and eclectic imagination.
August Kekulé discovered the benzene ring via a dream of a snake eating it’s tail.
There are other tales of men and women considered genii in their fields using creativity and intelligence to imagine and realise their discoveries. Often the creative side can be overlooked and the mathematical skill of the inventor is lauded.
Much of what we now take for granted in modern technology was once a seemingly impossible dream in someone’s imagination.
Imagination is a huge part of creativity and is the first step in any invention. Whether that invention is for the world or our personal lives it requires the intelligence of our own creativity. It can be as simple as being so passionately immersed in what we’re doing that imagination just arises out of being inspired in the form of creativity.
So as the sign at the school on a remote road on the Central Coast of NSW tells its students ‘Creativity is intelligence. Have fun!’
I urge you to take a step towards a seemingly impossible dream that you have for yourself or the world and exercise your creative intelligence! The world could just be waiting for what you have to bring from your imagination into being. Have fun!