A Call for Creativity
by Trevor Ballance, Josai International University, Japan, July 2004
Pause for a moment to consider this: what, do you think, would "dignity," "humility" and "equality"* look like?
Perhaps you can imagine these concepts in, say, a visual or an aural sense. So how would you represent them in an everyday object or a daily activity? And how would you integrate dignity, humility and equality into an activity with other people where they would be part of the process as well as being contained in the creation itself?
Weaving these abstract ideas into our daily lives and the lives of others is crucial if we are to reduce conflict in the world and develop peaceable societies. If we can create simple yet elegant ways of representing "dignity," "humility" and "egality" through objects that we use and activities that we do, we can illustrate the relevance of these vital concepts in the everyday existence of all people.
So here is a challenge we'd like to put to you. The challenge is a Call for Creativity.
In this Call for Creativity we'd like you create something that reflects the essence of dignity, humility and egality. In a Call for Creativity we'd like to celebrate, with you, the wonderful inventiveness of the human mind and marvel at the remarkable diversity of human culture. The ideas, for example, of "World Clothes for Equal Dignity" and the complementary "World Furniture," "World Architecture," "World Design," "World Art" and "World Music" may provide your starting point, but you don't have to stop there. A Call for Creativity might include photography, photomontage, dance, delicious recipes from your kitchen, handbags, hats, children's toys.
In truth, there are no boundaries to our Call for Creativity.
Let's explore one idea. In Asia, for example, patchwork is an increasingly popular leisure activity. Exhibitions of beautiful patchwork quilts in Japan and the Korean peninsula bear witness to the dedication and commitment of the growing number of skillful patchwork artists. But there are important cultural differences. Japanese cotton and silk materials are often based on seasonal flowers and kimono patterns with soft pastel colors whereas in Korea , linen is also used and materials are in plain and deep primal colors. If you were a patchwork artist (or even someone who does patchwork as a form of relaxation) how would you combine these different aspects in a mutual appreciation of both cultures? Japan and South Korea have a history of enmity so what better way to reduce the sense of humiliation that people from both countries sometimes feel, than by celebrating the nations' positive aspects through a patchwork creation.
A Call for Creativity is open to everyone. Are you a student? You might choose to adapt a project you have been working on with your classmates. Are you a community organizer? The people in the community you work with may surprise you with their imagination. Are you a homemaker? Then in your busy daily life there may be an activity that you could turn into something special. Are you a teacher? Then your students will flood you with ideas that you can help them to organize and bring to fruition.
The negative effects of globalization are many, but in reaction to the powerful forces that threaten the lives of so many people we can see how groups are turning this shrinking world to their advantage. People are mobilizing with the aim of taking back control of their own lives, joining with others in solidarity in which distance is no barrier. And through this newfound participation, victims of poverty are beginning to find their dignity through mutually supporting relationships and a sharing of cultures.
A Call for Creativity is an opportunity for you to contribute to the reduction of conflict by sharing your symbols of these ideas and your stories behind them. We'd like to feature your creations on our site because we believe that your response to our Call for Creativity will confirm the potential that humankind has to find ways of achieving dignity, humility and egality.
* We have a long discussion on the term "equality" and often use the word "equal dignity" or "egality" in order to avoid saying that equality means that we all should become the same, which seems to be a current misunderstanding. See, for example, the entry in our News Entry entitled "Equality and Egality, Egalization and Globalization, by Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan and Lindner."
See the video Yes, We Can! (2008).