The Real Crisis in America is Not What You Think

The real crisis in America today is not jobs, coarse behavior, Wall Street or the threat of international terror. The real crisis is a lack of imagination. We are stuck inside our stereotypes and assumptions. We cannot imagine being friends with someone outside our little world. We cannot imagine ourselves living a different life. Virtually every crisis - and we have one now in this country, obviously - is a failure of imagination. With this final idea, all political divisions will collapse: Give up who you are for who you might become!

Why do we lack imagination? It’s too early to determine for sure, but one likely culprit is the number of hours kids now spend in front of the TV and playing video-games rather than engaging in creative activities. Another is the lack of creativity development in our schools. This is a huge issue. A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 “leadership competency” of the future.

The conscious use of the imagination opens a new door for all of us.

If we want more entrepreneurs, inventors, college presidents, authors, doctors, diplomats, and software developers in this country, we have to address the creativity crisis that was first reported in Newsweek magazine in 2010.

How do we make creativity and imagination more important in the early years? The argument that we can’t teach creativity because kids already have too much to learn is a false trade-off. Creativity isn’t about freedom from concrete facts. Rather, fact-finding and deep research are vital stages in the creative process. Scholars argue that current curriculum standards can still be met, if taught in a different way.

Why is it so important that we reemphasize the power of our imagination beyond economic development? Research proves it makes us resilient and flexible. When studying 1,500 extra creative middle schoolers, scientists found that those high in 'creative self-efficacy' had more confidence about their future and ability to succeed. They were sure that their ability to come up with alternatives would aid them, no matter what problems would arise.

At a time when suicide rates in America are climbing and opiate abuse is ravaging our working class, the power of creative imagination could be the real catalyst for making America great again!

#creativity #leadership #education #economicdevelopment

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