Today, Korean education is all but dominated by the mighty Chaebols. Students are tyrannized by the thought of getting a job at Samsung, Daewoo, KIA, LG, etc., and the value of education is has been set by these entities. In the race to acquire the skillset and education resume needed for these companies, we risk losing our creativity. We may become so focused on their requirement and we may forget to explore our own talents, curiosities, interests, relationships, even health. The mighty corporations of Korea may come to dominate a student’s life in so many directions, potentially making you feel trapped. There is no conspiracy theory about it. No evil planners trying to dominate you. Its just the ever-encroaching power of big business and its agenda, and one thing that doesn’t seem high on its list is Artful creativity for its own ends.
We may perceive creativity as a pointless activity that doesn’t yield any benefit. “How is painting going to help me get a job at Samsung?” you may ask yourself. “What benefit will I gain from writing poetry where I should be studying?” is another. However, these questions reflect our subservience to economic rewards.
Creativity serves its own ends. Simply being creative brings a sense of satisfaction that many times brings with it a joyful outlook on things. There are no economic rewards needed. Writing a piece of poetry that you enjoy, because its yours and reflects your life may open up perceptions you thought didn’t realize were there.
The famous Philosopher Nietzsche writes that what we need is a “Gay (Joyful) Science” in our lives. He says our minds have become too focused on reason, rationality, and truth. Furthermore, he shows how this pursuit has resulted in so much suffering only to find that the actual “truth” wasn’t so true after all. In his seminal book, he admires the ancient Greeks for their superficial approach towards the world. What he means is that he found their world to be less serious and more playful. He saw that their use of Art in society was proof that they were much more at play in life, as compared to his very hierarchical German, pre-industrialist society.
In the end, he says we need a Gay Science, where we can still pursue truth, to some extent, but what is most important is the Art we perform along the way. That is, performing creative arts for no other reason than to feel that satisfaction. So, instead of focusing your mind so much on YOUR future, YOUR economic future, what about this question: “I wonder how playing the guitar can help me become a more joyful person?” And with this question, I’ll leave you with one of the best poets of all, Dr. Seus:
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)