Nurturance of Creativity
Childhood environment is an important shaper of our creativity. Does a comfortable environment in the childhood breed creativity, or an adverse environment? A book of biographies of innovative shapers of our modern world does indicate that a minority of these had difficult, adverse circumstances to cope with – poverty, serious illness, loss of one or both parents, excessively strict or authoritarian family etc. But the majority had a congenial environment – liberal, well-to-do, encouraging parents. When someone is very gifted, adversity challenges the child to become a precocious adult who may become rebellious and challenge the status quo when he/she grows up, but possibly at a high psychological cost – anxiety, depression, self-doubt. These creators include Walt Whitman, Mary Parker Eddy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Mark Twain, Vincent Van Gogh, Henry Ford, Renoir, Rodin, and Sun Yat-Sen. Many more, however, had homes that were tolerant, gave the person much freedom to experiment and venture and self-actualize.Silvano Arieti has called such an environment ‘creativogenic’. There was, of course, talent. But the talent blossomed in the congenial environment to yield high-quality creativity.