Creativity: an affliction.

The ability to create is by far the most beautiful, intense, and terrifying thing one can bear, and when one feels the urge for the very same, it is like fire; burning to the touch, and most of all: all consuming, taking in everything you could possibly offer it, whether you do so by choice, desperation, or unavoidable regret.

Once you choose to make use of this ability of creation, the fire is lit, and you shine in the glory of its warmth and light, and the problem only arises once the fuel you feed to the flames begins to run out.

It’s well said that you can’t miss what you’ve never had, because once you’ve experienced the goodness of the fire you’ve created, the thought of the cold, and the dark that once didn’t faze you is overwhelming and scary, and it pushes you to tend to the embers and keep the flame up, in fear of their dying.

We, as people only differ in the amount of fuel we have at a particular moment, and how much we choose to feed to the fire at once. Yes, our potential to gather this fuel is unlimited, but potentials don’t always unlock, and your access to them remains boxed until you figure out how to go about unlocking that potential. This takes time, something the fire does not have. And this desire to keep on creating looms over you, forcing you to use what you should not, just for a little bit more heat. Exactly like when you run out of firewood for your fireplace so you look for old newspapers, little sticks that aren’t dry yet, things that still have life.

This desire to create and the aftermath it brings with it to us on a silver platter like a smug messenger of evil is all around us. It is the reason everything we build turns and falls, crushing everything we hold (or should hold) dear. Just like a child wishing the block tower in the town of blocks they created to be just a bit taller, and accidentally tipping it over with the extra weight, breaking even the rest of the town.

We always encourage this creativity, as it should be encouraged, but we do not warn against the debilitating consequences that come with the misuse, or the abuse of this very ability. Look around, it really is everywhere. In families and friendships broken apart by ambition, in people who think they’ve lost their purpose when they can’t create anymore. Zoom out and you have receding forests in the name of development, economic crises, deteriorating work conditions in the name of progress and money, and climate change, because creativity isn’t limited to just art and its various forms, it’s everything. Every idea, every new political ideology, every strategy to increase wealth, every expression of destructive tendencies by way of new weapons, every new design for a building to be made where a forest once was.

And we are afflicted by this disease that is creativity. Or rather, this desire to express this creativity. And now, we are only beginning to realise the consequences, because for centuries we have been using more than our share of the fuel to feed our fires, and now there is not enough to sustain the fire that is fast consuming all that it touches, much like the raging wildfires in Australia.

But, creativity is not all bad, because with it also come ideas that are salvation. As simple as metal straws and as huge as people choosing to fight for what they believe is right in the hope for creating a better place not just for themselves, but for those that they do not even know; a movement spreading like a wildfire- only a metaphorical one.

As a generation next in line to lead, we have seen both sides of this coin, and it is now given to us to choose how we use this power we hold. And I have ever strengthening hope and faith that we will choose what is right, because like the now overused yet fitting quote from the Peter Parker Principle: “With great power comes great responsibility”, we realise that with the ability, or rather, the power to create, we hold in our hands the power to control it, and channel it in directions that not only lower the height of the towering flames before us, but also tend to the ground that it left scorched.

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