Saturday, April 13, 2024 | Shawwal 3, 1445 H
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Unlocking creativity...

Intellectual creativity advances through curiosity, embracing diverse influences, learning from failure, and collaborating with others

Would the most significant works of literature, such as "The Epic of Gilgamesh," "The Odyssey," and "The Philosophical Epigrams," have survived in the age of modern media and censorship?

Intellectuals, artists, and writers engage with purpose, imagination, and passion to produce their pieces. Books, paintings, songs, plays, and movies inform and entertain. They are not just windows to the world; they are also about empowerment. Some of these materials can be turned into masterpieces. To quote Albert Einstein, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination”.

If intellectuals had not been given the freedom to dream and to express their creativity, masterpieces like the Greek tragedies and Shakespeare's plays would not have served as references to our cultural enrichment. Hamlet, by William Shakespeare; Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, by Edward Albee; Waiting for Godot, by Samuel Beckett; and Candida, by Bernard Shaw, are examples of cultural diversity and collaborations that enrich the soul and the mind. Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s ‘The School for Scandal’ remains relevant, particularly in the realm of gossip; by letting people make assumptions, information is skewed.

In paintings, ‘Mona Lisa’, ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’, or ‘Night Shining White’ from the period of the Tang dynasty, are the result of everyday life in different periods. The amazing works of Greek culture, Shakespeare, French writers, and playwrights from around the world ratify that intellectual expansion is attainable where there is space to grow. Intellectual creativity advances through curiosity, embracing diverse influences, learning from failure, and collaborating with others.

In filmmaking, movies such as Ben-Hur, Titanic, A Space Odyssey, Avatar, Star Wars, and Oppenheimer are examples of innovative minds. They are films that inform, educate, and entertain. Cinematography is the result of a scientific venture involving imagery, movement, and lighting. The invention of the camera, the projector, and approaches to images have opened the doors for the cinema industry, bringing short videos to social media. Advanced digital technologies have enhanced forms of narrative, the use of colour, and sound, bringing filmmaking to new dimensions, all thanks to creative minds.

It is inspiring when the fine-tuning of intellectual works is done within circles of collaboration and new approaches, but when an artwork is chopped or banned according to sets of imposed narratives, it is like trimming the wings of a bird. If it weren't for the chance to be creative, we wouldn't have the Internet, computer code, space exploration, or a man landing on the moon.

Development in all areas, from health to the military to computers to news production and distribution to space exploration, has been possible because there are people with a passion for new possibilities. Yes, there are those with progressive thoughts, and there are those who either want to control ideas and information or merely object since the developments do not match individuals’ selective principles. The lazy habits of mind reinforce people’s tendency to repeat what was done yesterday.

From Antiquity to the present, censorship has been a threat to creative thinking. Censorship can be debated from different perspectives with the view of regulating the manners and morals of citizens. Every country has its own rules. But we live in a diversified society in a globalized world; we are connected in a web of both economic and social development.

A person’s ability to understand ideas and information while channeling knowledge towards evolution has shaped the world we know today. We have all experienced amazing developments brought about by individuals with various viewpoints, from ancient literary masterpieces and sacred texts to the development of the wheel, the atomic bomb, and the internet. Creativity can’t be taught or assigned.

As the author Joseph Chilton Pearce wrote, “to live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong”.


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