Creativity in the Struggle for Justice

by | Feb 13, 2024 | Community Organizing | 0 comments

Ursa Kaiser, Yolo County Organizer—

Our world constantly changes, altering our consciousness in the process. Forces of inspiration struggle continuously against forces of despair. Remaining relevant in this battle makes achieving new methods and mental outlooks necessary. Going about our days present us with countless options to intentfully take in new information or not. Likewise, creative dreams and visions come from everyday interactions with the real world. Creativity does not just exist in the struggle for justice, but in the struggle against it as well. Our conducts can either birth new understandings of our greater purpose, or further cloud our sight. Many people, living in the United States and beyond, use creativity to avoid finding solutions. These actions pull us further away from understanding the world around us, and even our own selves.

All things have practical, provable relationships to one another. Scientifically, what affects one directly affects all indirectly. This principle can be seen in both natural studies and social sciences. Proven in physics, biology, chemistry, history, economics, and beyond. Interconnection exists well beyond moral and spiritual importance. Creative minds actively study relationships to achieve desired results. With all objects, ideas, and emotions in constant motion, relationships do constantly change. All forces and objects are both attracted to and repulsed by their surrounding objects and forces. These attractions and repulsions, or pushes and pulls, contribute to the constant change of our world. While one force must eventually become stronger than the other, both forces still continue to exist. We must know what directions we are pulled into and what directions we are pushed away from. Knowledge can alleviate some, though not all, uncertainty. We can use natural law in pursuit of societal transformation.

Successfully creative ideas correspond to reality. So too must creative approaches acknowledge ideas, protocols, and customs that birthed them. Some parts of old formulas will need to be changed, taken away, or added, to provide consistency and context for the world we live in today; yet starting from scratch wastes hard-won knowledge from previous experience. Creative methods exist married to practical methods. Idealism cannot bring us to a better world. Some people, when made aware of injustices and oppression, resist seeking knowledge of the history and evolution of those forces of injustice and oppression.  Such “starting from scratch” can waste time and lead into set back and cynicism.

Thus, we rely on measurements, directions, and physical qualities to determine what can be done. An idealistic approach might entirely ignore specifics and try possibilities that have not been vetted realistically. Creativity pursues stability between forces so that an outcome can be constructed.

Understanding relationships comes with the responsibility of helping guide them, placing them in a long-term or short-term dream. Dreaming requires transparency. Transparent action pulls us closer to possibilities instead of being removed from them. Certain chemical formulas, for example, do not reach equilibrium without another outside substance contributing some particle. To determine any missing particle, one must know every other substance present on both sides. Without applying this rule, we risk making plans that cannot be executed  for lack of information.

Unifying ourselves with victories of today and learning points of the past are essential to achieving  progress. Creativity is not a search for uniqueness, though it often results in novel solutions. When deployed, creativity uses old strategies, or parts of those strategies, in new ways that are appropriate for relevant context around us. It is not to reject what has been, but to resourcefully expand the tactics and purposes of our forebears of humanist economic, political, and social relationships.

We now face a predicament of mutual paralysis. Many of us living in the United States would acknowledge that we have yet to reckon with the imposing threat of rising economic and social inequality, the heightening cost of living, and increasing fear of the climate crisis. Some of us know we are not actively participating in our own lives. Yet it is only a minority that feel fulfilled in our actions to grapple with the causes of our own fearfulness and concern. A creative movement applies leadership and creativity to resolve this stagnation and develops strategies which inspire social involvement societal change.

Creativity offers a key to better understand ourselves and the world around us. Tangible visions are more than an “aha moment” or sudden discovery. They are steps in a process of trying something, evaluating the outcome, and combining those outcomes to produce inventive ideas or results. These building blocks of reason prove invaluable in the battle for consciousness raging everyday. It provides a release from lies that we must live individually and do everything our own way. Through creativity, the past foot soldiers of this humanist movement continue to live on through our actions in the present.

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