Descartes takes his date, Jeanne, to a posh restaurant for her birthday.
The waiter hands them the wine list, and Jeanne asks to order the most expensive bottle on the list.
“I think not!” exclaims an indignant Descartes, and — POOF! — he disappears.
What is the meaning of life? Many people have spent a lot of time on the answer to that question.
But maybe the answer lies in the question itself? Our ability to reach out that far within our own minds and ask a question that big is telling in many ways. Our need to know the answer can be seen as our purpose. Our need to answer every question in our lives could possibly be the only force that drives us. We are all involved, whether we know it or not, in the progression of our world at many levels. Every life is a small part of a bigger organism. The moment we came into existence, we all automatically joined the big club we call humanity. Our participation, however small, is relevant and part of the endless tapestry of life in the world. It’s important to realize that the fact that we have a pulse is the only proof necessary to understand that we have a purpose. And our creativity is the tool we use to exercise that purpose.
When we open a puzzle box and empty it out onto the table, we are looking at a problem to solve. It was easy to create this problem. Every piece has its place, but it will take time to pick the correct piece. The world is full of problems — problems like climate change, pollution, poverty, hunger, crime, disease and war, to name a few. Manmade problems caused without consideration of consequence. But we also have much smaller problems. There are also regular, run-of-the-mill problems that need to be solved at home or work. We all have the potential to become better problem-solvers. And it all starts with understanding our creativity and having the courage to follow it.
We have been living for a long time with a kind of creative apathy. We take for granted our amazing ability to see, evaluate, react to and execute solutions. If a turning point is encouraged in our perception of creativity and enough of us champion the cause and become better problem-solvers at work, life and love, then maybe it could cause a kind of paradigm shift in the way we react to problems globally. It could create a shift needed to build a better world for our children and our children’s children.
Alex Raffi serves as Partner and Creative Director for Imagine Communications. Feel free to email him by clicking here.