On vulnerability, as a source of creativity

On vulnerability, as a source of creativity

Nikko Toshogu Shrine 3 Monkeys, credits Mikey Down Under
Vulnerability is a way of presenting oneself to the others, the best measurement of our courage, says Brené Brown in a TED conference posted in March 2012 (watch the video bellow).

Vulnerability is not a weakness, although it might be confused.  To be vulnerable is to put oneself in the arena, possible object of critiques, of envy or other negative attitudes, but the best are self-confident, and this is their strength. Harry Potter was this, and Hermione instinctively understood that he was courageous, while she was only a good smart student.

What is interesting for us in her speech is the assertion that vulnerability is the source of creativity, innovation and change.

If we think of Michelangelo or Picasso or other great artists, certainly they have been innovators and change agents, beside being very creative
(that depends also on the productivity and the time the artist dedicates to creative work).

As Clay Shirky puts it, we can now be innovators and change agents without being Michelangelo or JFK or Obama: the web gives us the possibility  to change in an innovative and creative way our society, and Ushahidi is a good example, but also the thousands of chat sites including Facebook and Twitter.

There are infinite possibilities nowadays, by which we can mobilize literally thousands of people, or millions, by the force of our vulnerability, by our putting ourselves in the arena of the web without fearing of being slain by the first opponent or simply by someone who disagrees with us.

Shame is a sentiment of being bad, which leads into depression, addiction and other negative psychological states. Brené says that this sentiment is inversely correlated to the guilt sentiment: this last feeling is related to the sensation of having made a mistake, therefore I am responsible.  Ruth Benedict in 1944 said that the Japanese are a culture of shame, while the Westerners have a culture of guilt.

We should reflect on these themes, since they are the source not only of creativity or innovation, but also of aesthetics and ethics.

To be followed.

[ted id=1042]

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