Creativity & Social Change
The seismic shifts in our political landscape have led me to reflect more deeply on the nature of creativity as a force for social change.
I sit at my desk every morning for three hours and every evening for another hour. How can this solitary work contribute to the healing of the deep wounds apparent in our society?
Let me borrow an image I came across in John Butler’s beautiful book, The Wonders of Spiritual Unfoldment. Imagine, if you will, that consciousness is a blanket lying on the floor. You reach down and grab it in the middle, tugging upwards. But it isn’t just the bit of cloth you’re holding in your hand that lifts, is it? Doesn’t the entire blanket begin to rise?
Every time I sit down to write, I’m energizing the best and fullest part of my human capacities: thought, self-expression, imagination, creativity. I’m also acting from a loving impulse: the desire to share the best aspects of my humanity with others in such a way that their own capacities are enlarged. This lifts the blanket of cultural consciousness in ways that are largely hidden from me, but real, nonetheless.
I am putting something good, beautiful and true into the world every time I sit down to write, and I invite you to do the same during the days and weeks ahead. For as poet Mary Oliver puts it, “In creative work … those who are the world’s working artists are not trying to help the world go around, but forward.”