Imagine-creativity-16636424-400-300Narratological Creativity: Have you ever heard a child try to get its story straight? Or maybe you have dear friend who always blows the punch line of a good joke. Both are examples of how hard to tell a coherent, meaningful and compelling tale. Stories are a complex mash up of characters, actions, plots, description, grammar and sequence. Most importantly, they have a narrative voice – our voice – authentic or personified. How we tell the tale can either energize the most mundane anecdote or dampened even the most rousing spellbinder. The philosopher Plato understood the persuasive power of the storyteller and was so concerned that he banished them from his Republic and urged Athenians to restrict the teaching of rhetoric because it covers up an individual’s lack of knowledge. What would he think of political ads or commercials for beauty products? (more…)

Recently the World Economic Forum came out with their Annual Report of Global Competiveness. Apparently, Switzerland and Singapore are now officially the valedictorian and salutatorian of the global class, while the US is the kid with a lot of potential if only he would apply himself. It would be easy enough to dismiss such news if we knew that things were going to improve sometime soon, but the reality is even more distressing. Recent international tests for math and science have put the capabilities of our American youth somewhere behind Iceland and Slovakia. Oh sure, our culture and can-do attitude count for something – just not calculus or inorganic chemistry. So recently, our politicians, executives and educators have discovered creativity and its magical abilities to transform all that is ordinary and boring into the extraordinary and innovative. Yes, creativity will save us…or will it? (more…)

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” (Bertrand Russell)

There is an epidemic sweeping all the great nations of our world. It’s commonly called “Old Man’s Disease.” It can be seen and heard in all variety of places – airports, restaurants, ball parks, and particularly in the chapel. It usually starts with exaltation to the wonderful way things used to be and finishes with a declamation or even damnation of the way things are now becoming. This ailment is brought on by a mesmerizing array of disjointed observations about offensive music, disgraceful fashion, lack of a disciplined work ethic, and the general disappearance of filial piety. Ironically, suffers of this malady commonly overlook the fact that if these conditions were actually so they would be entirely culpable given that they were charged with the raising and enrolling the succeeding generation in what is good, glorious and true. The fundamental dynamic of growth is that the old is unseated by the new, whether by choice or by force. The wise are rejuvenated with the emergence of the nascent and act to make opportunity and provision for it. (more…)