With a controversial title like “Daydreaming is important business“, this post combines two seemingly paradoxical worlds.
Almost every other day, I am surrounded by a lot of bland personalities in school. It’s startling, to say the least. I am grateful for the friends who still have an active mind around me. I am shocked by how much can change in a few years, in just half a year. I sense a perceptible shift in the student composition, something that I can’t quite put my finger on, but is most definitely there.
I am a dreamer; and always have been. I am also blatantly using this as an explanation for the times that I seem to be, “staring haplessly into space”, as this other article so aptly describes. Daydreaming, combined with a certain kind of control, I say it’s a powerful force.
“If your mind didn’t wander, then you’d be largely shackled to whatever you are doing right now,” says Jonathan Schooler, a psychologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “But instead you can engage in mental time travel and other kinds of simulation. During a daydream, your thoughts are really unbounded.”
Just the other day, I was musing over what a friend had mentioned about creativity. She’d gotten horrendous grades for anything “art” related all her life, and this label stuck. She thought she was absolutely uncreative- that is, until she went overseas, and discovered she was not. That she was, in fact, rather good with craft and making things with her hands. Who gave our elementary school teachers so much liberty to shape a child that way?
Back to the article on daydreaming:
What these studies all demonstrate is that proper daydreaming – the kind of thinking that occurs when the mind is thinking to itself – is a crucial feature of the healthy human brain. It might seem as though our mind is empty, but the mind is never empty: it’s always bubbling over with ideas and connections.
One of the simplest ways to foster creativity, then, may be to take daydreams more seriously. Even the mundane daydreams that occur hundreds of times a day are helping us plan for the future, interact with others, and solidify our own sense of self. And when we are stuck on a particularly difficult problem, a good daydream isn’t just an escape – it may be the most productive thing we can do.
What benefits have exploring unorthodox interests conferred?
Observation, attention to detail, being able to create and visualize links between seemingly unrelated concepts, alternative ways of thinking, a fuller appreciation of the world, and what it means to be human.
The article was interesting if only because most people associate daydreaming with a very idealistic frame of mind, and at the other end of the spectrum where practicality is concerned.
Which brings me to another issue. On the other hand, I am tired of people complaining about censorship. Rants from these people could be anything ranging from complaints that “My movie experience is ruined”, ” My government doesn’t allow this and that”, to ” Why did they have to edit (this) out”. Every single guest speaker that we have who comes from the art or film industry can expect students to question if they are ‘hindered’ by censorship issues.
Come on. Let’s be realistic. How difficult is it to get your hands on the original, unedited version? No one wants to admit it, but the chances are, you know it is relatively effortless. The point also is that our society is just not ready for certain issues either.
We could take another viewpoint. Censorship exists partially to hone your creativity. How best can you achieve what you want, and how can you find a way around the tape that has been designed to “keep you in”? If everything were legal, where would the fun be?
That is why some people have quipped that life is over after 21, because most of the things that were “illegal” because of your age… suddenly becomes mundane. The rules only constrain those that mean to break them. Some day, you’ll wake up realizing there are no boundaries except those that you set for youself. It will be a strange, exhilarating, exuberant moment. You’ll feel scared, you may choose to retreat back into the (now open) cage, or you can choose to venture out. It is an interesting benchmark, to use physical age as a criteria of maturity. It used to work, but with the new complexities of our cultural landscape, I’m not so sure.
At any rate, it’s interesting that songs are censored on radio, certain words are edited out of television shows and movies, whereas absolutely foul language in books seemingly goes undetected. The icing on the cake? I’m also quite taken aback at all the morally dubious themes running on the serials on TV Mobile, just because that is about the only television I will allow myself to be subject to-mostly to due the fact that I can’t quite escape it. So, it is alright to show families broken up, family members screaming hysterically at each other, domestic violence, infidelity, divorce, teenagers on drugs?
Don’t give me all that jazz about how art reflects society. We know it is reflexive as well. You are only perpetuating certain themes in the minds of the very impressionable public that you purport to draw up rules to protect.
In which case, since all this (acceptable but morally dubious) material is so easily accessible already, does censorship really matter then?
As for the general public, I question what you really are asking for then, since you wish to be ‘liberated’ like some of our foreign counterparts. What does true liberation entail to you?
If you are going to fight for the rights to view pieces in their full entirety, what are you going to do with it when you get it? Are you going to take it a step further and engage in debate with others? If you are just going to watch it and take nothing away from the experience, does censorship really matter to you in the end?
Tags: creativity, censorship, art, education, liberation, daydreaming,