Something blew my mind away a few years ago.
I remember reading an article that said:
“People walk around with devices in their pockets more powerful than the computers who brought men to the Moon.”
Isn’t that absolutely crazy?
Coding is a superpower and code is beautiful.
It's poetic and powerful, it gives purpose to ideas, solutions to problems.
I get the same feeling of awe when I read beautiful code then when I read a Rumi poem. Both give me the same sense of relief in front of “such a perfect expression of something inexpressible”.
Code harnesses the power of knowledge and knowledge, these days, is at our fingertips.
It makes me sad though when I see some people think technology is a form of corruption, even something we need to protect our children from.
I get it.
A lot of the fears driving that mindset are founded.
I can’t argue with the fact that as a society, we do have a tendency to misuse and misunderstand technology in so many ways.
But I don’t believe that reacting defensively to this reality is the answer.
Why are the concepts of responsibility and creativity not always seen as working alongside each other but often are viewed in direct opposition, almost as if one was shameful when seen from the other’s perspective?
All my childhood, my parents encouraged me to discover my artistic side. But I think they never really thought that I might want to become a musician professionally. They wanted me to be responsible… Make money, have a job, get married. Not running around the World sleeping God knows where with no money in my pockets.
When I discovered technology, I tried to change. I denied myself permission to play music for anything more than a hobby.
Playing music just didn’t feel like a responsible thing to do.
Creativity And Responsibility Walking Hand In Hand
Going back to the story of the first men on the Moon, remember that at some point in time, what we now base our everyday lives on was only accessible to a small group of dedicated and privileged people. These people worked extremely hard, learned for years and put their lives on the line for the chance of realising their dream and the dream of a whole nation.
If back then men had the power to go to the Moon by using technology comparable to a shitty Nokia phone, what could we possibly achieve now?
So I wonder, how can we educate our kids to be continuous learners and use technology responsibly? Wouldn’t it be great if we could encourage them to become responsible by firing up their interests and creativity?
Creativity has the power to make responsibility attractive.
Because creativity is fun. So learning becomes fun. So you want to learn more. But to learn more you need to learn how to learn better. And for that, you need to be disciplined and responsible. And being disciplined and responsible becomes fun because it allows you to be more creative…
Do you see where I’m getting at?
Bridging the Gap
Using Creativity To Heal Our Relationship To Technology
One of the most responsible contributions to society we can make is to heal our relationship to modern technology by cultivating our creativity and playfulness . Not only for us but for the new generation growing in a World where technology was always present.
Artists and programmers have a lot in common. Yet we don’t know each other. And when you are someone like me living on “both sides of the fence”, it sometimes becomes a game of disguise to understand which mask is accepted in which occasion. As if the work of an artist and a programmer are fundamentally opposite from one another. Because one is “creative” and the other one is “responsible”.
But the more I learn, the more I think they are one and the same. Only the tools are different. Both artists and programmers use a powerful mean of expression, bring fundamental building blocks in society and have the responsibility to use their craft with purpose and intention to have a positive impact.
Keeping The Magic Alive
Without curiosity, we are lost. We will end up building a society of bored people that operate like robots. We will create the worst sci-fi movie ever.
But we are at this moment in time where we still have a choice. Some people are questioning, wondering, creating, building and we have a huge power in our hands (a device with Internet access) to be actively part of the conversation, to participate in the process.
And the best motivation to keep us going is curiosity. As long as we are curious, we will learn.
But it’s easier to learn effectively if we have fun.
And fun comes by being creative.
So being creative becomes part of our responsibility.
And responsibility becomes a work of Love.
How do you think we can improve the integration of curiosity and creativity in the education process, at home or in school? Do you have your own experience of living a double life by being a creative and “something else”?
This piece was originally published on Earth to Abigail. You can find the original piece here.