02022-12-16 | Memories, Musings | 6 comments

Since 2016 I have been using the DayOne journal on my laptop and phone. While I was looking through some old entries I found this little paragraph I thought was worth sharing:

I believe creativity is where humans go after they have exhausted playing for wealth or power. Maybe that takes a few lifetimes – I don’t know. Eventually wealth and power become utterly boring, uninteresting and pointless when one discovers creativity.



  1. Steve

    >Eventually wealth and power become utterly boring, uninteresting and pointless when one discovers creativity.

    Do you still believe this … ? particularly after the Trump presidency… Just curious if that four year run changed anything.

    • ottmar

      Yes, absolutely. I find men like Trump or Musk boring. Dangerous, but boring. They are so obviously trying to feed the hungry ghost and that’s such a dead end. If only someone had shown them how to do art or write or make music. If you gave me the choice between Power, Wealth, or Creativity, I would choose Creativity every time.

      I remember an argument I had with my dad when I was a teenager. I questioned the value of the amount of money spent on the military versus education and my argument (remember, I was maybe 15 years old) was something like this:
      Spending the money on defense instead of education will lead to a society with a stupid but all powerful military, while spending it on education will lead to a society with a smart public that may be relatively powerless. But in the long run I would always bet on the second choice…

      In view of the Russian war on the Ukraine I am not sure that’s true. At least temporarily, the military might can wreak terrible devastation.

      • JaneParham

        Make art, music, creative writing mandatory subjects, along with maths, reading skills, English grammar and elocution, scientific REASONING skills, one foreign language, US Constitution and government structure …. Leave out all the ruminating about feelings, gender ID, racist propagandish history etc. Later when students will be educated and equipped to understand what is going on (on any issue) and not be duped by fascists or other con men grasping for power they will read and learn for themselves. We could have a strong democracy and inspiring culture. Details later (:-)

        • ottmar

          I am not sure I understand your comment. Are you suggesting that anything concerning feelings, gender and race should have to wait until… when exactly? Wouldn’t that just lead to another generation of people who feel left out?

          I find that everything we are learning about this world and all of its interconnected beings, with various different types of intelligences, teaches us that we need to be more wholistic in our approach, not less.

  2. JaneParham

    Distinguishing “education” from “socialization,” I think education, has focused on socialization and vocational training than on education. The goal of education has been boiled down to the ability to get a better job, not to develop a capable mind. Although, with a capable mind, a young person is more likely to succeed in general. So, students are given texts propounding slanted views of history applauding the U.S., shallow studies of literature and the sciences, and no attention to critical thinking ability. We are equipped to fit into society and become consumers and workers, but we we don’t attain many of the skills to maintain democracy and cultural richness.

    Emotional and mental health, racism issues, sex education, addictions and the like could be worked into the curriculum by the time we reach high school, but first teaching us to think, research, and reason would go a lot farther in our gaining an understanding of the whole scope of life, rather than following only what we are handed by our teachers. I realize that some kids instinctively know not to buy everything their teachers say. But the relationship between teacher and student is usually one of the teacher’s being in authority. Of course, parents are ultimately responsible for the basic development of their children. (It gets complicated!)

    The current plague of disinformation via social media shows the dire need for citizens to be able to evaluate this flow of information, rather than just swallow everything that seems appealing. We are also plagued by out-of-control gun violence and drug issues (both legal and illegal), among other things. Whew! I could study this for years!

  3. luna

    Wow! A loaded topic for sure.
    Being somewhat “formally academically educated” and more importantly extensively experienced over several decades of all ages, levels, cultures, languages, and abilities of “students” in very different environments, even internationally, modern brain-based learning science and other psychology research from the likes of Dr. Brene Brown and others, has shown us kind of a “common sense” thread, that literally the emotional part of of our brain drives the vehicle—100%. Only when any person Feels “Safe” in every way can they fully integrate academic or logical knowledge and make logical decisions or choices. It is never about someone’s IQ or even what they “know.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that to this day, on the beautiful planet, there is not one place that fully respects or validates our natural human feelings. It has been my witnessing, both as a person, a student, and as an educator for many years too, that if someone, anyone of any age, especially children, feel “safety” within a learning environment, their flourish—FLOURISH, like talking or singing to plants! This then leads to Being and Doing Better in everything, plus increased creativity, imagination, efficiency and productivity.
    I believe Dr. Brown’s research has shown hands down that without (healthy) human connection and a deep sense of belonging, there “is suffering.”


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