I was reading something about creativity, about what distinguishes highly creative people, and one interesting theory is that people become creative due to dealing with difficult circumstances. Adversity forces us to approach the world in new ways, to see things differently.
I believe that’s probably true … honestly some of the most creative people I’ve known are the outcasts, the ones who don’t meet society’s, or their family’s, standards … the ones who maybe have experienced some things that … changed … them.
Now, this could be a chicken-or-egg kind of thing … are they different, and so the world treats them differently, or vice versa? I do know that adversity can break people too, so I wouldn’t advocate it as a means of self-exploration. But if one stumbles upon adversity, in the normal course of life, it’s certainly better to take Victor Frankl’s approach and use it to create good in the world, than to let it destroy us.
An ex-student was talking with me about bullies at her school – Governor’s school, no less, where somehow I was surprised to hear of such things occurring. She told me her approach was going to be to use the bullying experiences to make herself better, and kinder, and to grow rather than be defeated.
I applaud everyone who encounters difficulty and makes it sort of a gym for the soul, a workout rather than a destructive force. Maybe, when someone is unkind, we can counter it with a kindness … to that person in return if we are really really spiritually advanced, or maybe just to someone else in sort of a reverse “Pay it Forward” kind of pyramid scheme. Maybe when life deals us an injustice through nobody’s specific intention, we can deal out an equal measure of unexpected goodness to someone else. I will try this. I’ll forgive myself for those times when I’m too caught up in my own self-pity to be successful, and then I’ll pick myself up and try it again. Maybe it’s up to each of us to provide for the world those things it’s lacking. Just thinkin’ …