This is a fascinating and useful essay which I read in “A Culture Reader for Writers. Ed. John Mark. 2014). I found the Aeon version later after I had written notes.
The question is why does creative work help so much? This essay helps with a number of clear thoughts. I agree that creative action teaches “agency”. The habit of acting to create anything, leads to confidence and agency in life.
Growth. That’s it!
Art, science, music, entrepreneurship, community work, education, industry; all begin with creative agency.
Here are my notes:
“Our longing to create that is our deepest drive and the one that makes us the most humans. We ignore this at our own cost.”
“Any act that helps to empower a person creatively can ignite the imaginative spark without which life of any kind struggles – and in many senses fails – even to begin.”
“The simple idea, that creativity is central to our ongoing growth as human beings, opens up a very distinctive understanding of what it means to make something.”
“The growth that comes from progress through the stages of any artistic discipline provides a backbone for our intellectual and emotional development as human beings.”
“As much as our social hierarchies are about limiting and controlling access to wealth, they are also about limiting and controlling access to creativity. Increasingly, the real benefit that money buys is the time, freedom and power to act creatively.”
“Our systems of government; business and education must make their mission to support the fulfilment of every human being.”
Infatuated by celebrity, stuck in dreary work, addicted to consumerism. Only a creator culture can save us