Children & Creativity
Creativity is natural in children. All children are born artists. They see the world through fresh, new eyes and then use what they see in original ways. Osho says "Watch children and you will see: all children are creative."
If given a chance, every child has some creative talent in him and if that talent is encouraged every child can become a great artist, a great actor or a great philosopher. Only the right environment is needed to become creative wonders. Creativity in children is reflected through their feelings, emotions, and imagination. Children are more concerned with how they "think" things are rather than being concerned with how they "really" are.
To encourage creativity in children, it is important to remember that the process of creating is more important than the final product. This means that the children are more interested in painting, clay-modeling, singing, or moving than they are in making a perfect picture, a perfect clay sculpture or singing the right words to a song.
Osho says "a small child knows nothing of guilt; he is wild and primitive. That's why to see a small child is such a joy. He is as yet uncrippled, he is as yet uncivilized. He has not been introduced to the disease called civilization -- that's why he has so much energy, so much flow. The child is streaming, vibrating; he is a great dynamo; he is all dance. He cannot contain himself -- he has so much that he is overflowing. You cannot make a child sit silently. Why? Because the energy is so much, uncontainable."
Each child brings great creativity into the world. Sometimes the child enjoys shouting, that is his expression, his creativity, but we crush and kill their creativity. We start teaching him what is right and what is wrong . Osho says, "That shout, if helped and not destroyed, will become his song -- that is the beginning of the song."
Osho further adds, "All our education starts with 'don'ts' and we go on thrusting more and more of don'ts down the throats of helpless children. Ultimately the whole creative energy, the whole capacity to act, gets dissipated under the crushing load of 'don'ts.'"
Children must be saved from these blind beliefs. They must be helped to think clearly; they must be helped to think creatively. Not give them thoughts but give them the ability to think. Giving them thoughts means giving them your thoughts, but giving them a chance to be creative is giving them something that is their own. That energy should be generated. That energy of creativity is enough to bring to the children's lives all that is new, fresh and real.
Sharing His insight, Osho says, "I say over and over again that if you want your children to know the truth you must give them the chance to think creatively. Stop conditioning them with beliefs; allow them to understand things for themselves. Creativity will become their capacity for life; creativity will become their wisdom. That capacity and that wisdom will lead them to the uncharted sea of truth."
Osho says on Children and Creativity
"When a child paints, don't bring in adultish criterions; don't say that this is not Picasso. If the child has enjoyed it and when he was painting he got absorbed in it, that's enough. The painting is great! Not because of any objective criterion -- the painting may be just nonsense; it may be just colours splashed, may be messy.... It has to be because a child is a child; he has a different vision of things.
For example, if a child makes the face of a man he has a different vision. He will make very big eyes; the nose will be very small. The ears may be missing -- he has never looked at them -- but eyes are very important for him. If he makes a man he will make the head and the hands and the legs and the torso will be missing -- that is his vision. For you it is wrong but from his standpoint that is how he looks at a man: hands, legs and head.
So it is not the question that you have to judge whether the painting is good or bad. No, we are not going to judge at all. Judge ye not. Don't make the child feel good or bad about it. If the child is absorbed in painting it, that's enough. He was in deep meditation, he moved with the painting utterly... he was lost in it! The painting is good because the painter was lost.
Help the child to be completely lost, and whenever a child is painting on his own, he will be lost. If you force him to paint then he will be distracted. So whatsoever the children want to do, let them do; just help them. Mm ? you can help in many technical ways. You can tell them -- if a child wants to paint -- how to mix colours, how to fix the canvas, how to use the brush; that you can help with. Be a help there; rather than being a guide, be a help.
Just as a gardener helps the tree... You cannot pull the tree fast; you cannot do anything in that way, nothing can be done positively. You plant the seed, you water, you give the manure, and you wait! The tree happens on its own. When the tree is happening you protect it so somebody does not hurt it or harm it. That is the function of a teacher: the teacher has to be a gardener. Not that you have to create the child; the child is coming on its own -- god is the creator.
That's what socrates means when he says, 'I am a midwife.' A midwife does not create the child. The child is already there, ready to come out; the midwife helps.
So help them to be creative, help them to be joyous, because that has disappeared from the schools. Children are very sad, and sad children create a sad world. They are going to inhabit the world, and we destroy their joy. Help their joy, help their celebration, make them more and more cheerful. Nothing is more valuable than that. If they are not doing mathematics it is perfectly okay, because mathematics is not the point. The point is joy!
If they are not learning language, forget about
it; they are learning something far more valuable."