Originality exists in everything: Learning language, speech and even our gait. Humans find out what suits them most. What leads to our personal inventions are our observations. But events in our life sometimes make us lose the motivation of being a distinguished member of society, so we become ‘just another’ amongst many.
Humans are always inclined to find an easy way out. I’m in medical school and I’ll share my little secret (which everyone secretly knows). I know how to get good grades with a minimal effort by a formula worked out by the graduates before me. Hence, I’m not interested in learning what’s new, but only what’s required, knowing that only the latter would go ahead to get me the grades I need. I know the currency of the question bank, it’s being passed down generations of graduates of my university.
The examination policy is dull. But I went through a worse system in high school—spoon feeding. It works to get us good grades, but closes up our imagination. Our thinking narrowed down to a smaller and smaller box and good grades never defined how innovative we were. In fact, creativity became an obstacle towards success.
As students, we’ve always been judged wrongly. In primary school I’d be given an essay of “3 pages” of my copy. Now those 3 pages could be filled in three different ways: writing large letters, increasing the spaces between my words and using long words for short ones that meant the same thing; all because the topic was always so boring and the rule so stupid, I’d use one of these short ways to find my way around rather than actually being motivated to write it through.
I’ll talk about Medicine because that’s what I’m studying and what I’ve observed is that there’s overwork—that’s what a doctor to patient ratio of 1:1300 (in Pakistan) means. If you were to visit an Ear-Nose-Throat clinic in an army setup you’re most likely to find around 20 patients waiting for the same single doctor to get free (more must be on their way). With a workload of such enormity and the fatigue that results, one is less likely to be thinking “out of the box” if thinking of anything at all other than the fastest way to get free.
Most important in this context is our conduct. With parents that scoff at you and teachers that scold you rather than trying to get you to understand; people who do not know how to behave in society, you become frustrated. In that frustration one is more likely to scoff back and be irritated more often than pondering upon a new idea. That is the reason for the demise of creativity within society followed by its sluggish progress, if any progress at all.