I live in a country where creativity is not actively cultivated in people. Creativity is an esoteric value that comes further along in the progression and development of a nation and its constituents. Pakistan has a population of 200 million and the problems of its people are far more pressing then things like creativity. This burgeoning mass of people has vast infrastructure issues and a huge poverty trap - we are, as a country, constantly in survival mode.
The Renaissance was a prime example of communal creativity (among the Europeans). Creativity creates growth and helps give birth to radical new ideas. In today’s digital age, the concept of creativity has spread across the world. If you look at the Japanese and their inherent shortage of space, you will see their communal creativity in designing small spaces to be functional. Communal creativity also led to the compact car and miniaturization.
In Pakistan, communal creativity is extremely distant - only the very driven and those who have the resources have been the bastions of the little communal creativity in the country. Though there is little support for this value because of all the issues that plague our country, it is increasing as the country progresses today. However, creativity is increasing in urban areas more than rural areas, and this is my point of contention with my community today. I see my country moving forward, but I only see creativity being promoted and fostered where people have wealth and resources, because of the restrictive social hierarchy in Pakistani society. I am witness to this, because I have the ability to be creative and utilize my creative ideas but there are a huge amount of children my age, or even younger, who are denied their right to think in a broad manner and apply their creativity in life. Creativity may mean harnessing your talent, but unfortunately talent inclined toward expression through art or music is taboo in my society.
Though I see many people around me being encouraged to use their creativity, I can’t help but be reminded that I make up a small sheltered percentage of my society. There are many more dreamers and creative thinkers who are prevented from expressing themselves simply because of cultural restrictions and a strong social hierarchy that withholds from them the opportunities that I have.
I think that to move forward we need communal creativity and its encouragement. This may come in the form of realization among the people who have the resources to make change or as a rebellion among those who are denied the ability to use their creativity to change the world. My community does not typically encourage creativity, but that needs to change.
Ryeean Chaudry is a 15-year-old student at Bay View Academy in Karachi, Pakistan. He is passionate about writing and debate.
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