Value creativity: become a hacker

Mr. Logan LaPlante, 13-year old sage

I just viewed a TED talk video entitled "Hackschooling Makes Me Happy." Go ahead, watch it. It's only 11 minutes long and worth every minute.

Basically it is a 13-year old boy (Logan Laplante) who learns how to answer the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up." His answer? He wants to be happy.

Now, ask him what he wants to DO and that is a different story. He has adopted the mindset that he is a hacker, not in the traditional sense, but in a way which equates hackers to innovators. This term is familiar to him and he can take ownership of this word on his own level as a teenager.

Logan takes the position that hackers take advantage of perceived weaknesses in the system; they find shortcuts and create better, faster, and more efficient methods. This way of thinking requires creativity.

Creativity is not taught in schools today. It is not valued in the same way as literacy or mathematical ability, and yet it ought to be. Sir Ken Robinson stated this is his famous 2009 TED talk, "How Schools Killl Creativity." 

The latter is an elder speaking of how the perception of creativity within the American educational system ought to change, the former is a child who is the product of this new mode of thinking. Logan was removed from the public schools and home schooled after the age of 9.  Now this value of creativity just needs to be assimilated in the public school system.

I'm not saying that all public schools have poor systems. I do believe however that standardization developed  an idea that all children are the same. Every person is a unique individual, different and diverse. No person is the same because our experiences, backgrounds, and abilities are not standardized. 

Creativity is only wearing our diversity and non-conformity on our proverbial sleeve. Not that other areas of learning are less important, it is just that everything should be taught as a holistic system. Each area will benefit from knowledge of the other. Science can be taught in art. Art can be taught in reading.

Curiosity is the instigator of creativity.It is the thirst for knowledge in all its forms. Compliance and standardization create automatons ripe for thoughtless industrialized work. No one stands out, no new thoughts are valued, just mindless production at an even, steady rate. 

Imagining alternatives, conceptualizing possibilities, visualizing a better way: that is creativity. How can this not be richly valued? This is one of the sparks that makes us human.

We are all creative. For some, it is dormant because it has not been given the right conditions in which to grow and develop. We are not expected to be creative. Ideas that "only certain people are creative" or "you're born with it" are assumptions based on ignorance. Creativity can be developed and taught just the same as spelling or other traditionally academic skills. The lack of expectation has hampered our society.

Recognize and verbalize when you see creativity in others. We can all challenge one another grow as creatives. Here is an exercise you can try right now: http://weavesilk.com/

God gave each of us strengths and weaknesses. My talent is visual problem-solving, aka an artist. 

1 Timothy 4:14 - "Neglect not the gift that is in thee..."