There is no shortage of creativity in Africa. Just check out www.afrigadget.com for proof. God made people to be creative as he is creative, so it should not be surprising that there are people all over the world who come up with new and interesting ideas, build crazy new things, or come up with new ways to use what we already have.
In his book Do the Work Pressfield Steven says:
When you and I set out to create anything, art, commerce, science, love – or to advance in the direction of a higher, nobler version of ourselves, we uncork from the universe, ineluctably, an equal and opposite reaction.
That reaction is Resistance. Resistance is an active, intelligent, protean, malign force – tireless, relentless, and inextinguishable – whose sole object is to stop us from becoming our best selves and from achieving our higher goals.
The universe is not indifferent. It is actively hostile.
Stevens says that Resistance comes from within and from other people, which I think is true. It’s also just part of a broken, fallen world.
Seeing the creativity of the Ugandan people has made me think about the forms Resistance takes in my life. Lack of discipline is a big one for me, lack of focus as well. I take on way to many things. Fear, desire for acceptance…all of those are part of it. Im learning fight some of these, but it is constant work.
It seems like I should be in an ideal place to create, I live a comfortable life, I don’t want for food or water, I have access to amazing resources. Yet I often struggle. Somebody in Uganda on the other hand has it seems huge obstacles to overcome. Lack of infrastructure, resources, basics of life.
I wonder though if these are not the true sources of Resistance for them. Sometimes, oftentimes, limits bring creativity, great need causes us to find great solutions. There are of course boundaries on this. Being comfortable inhibits my creativity in some specific way, just like being sick or hungry will inhibit your creativity in another way. I don’t by any means want to suggest that if we all poison our water and destroy our crops we would suddenly find the cure for cancer. What I do want to suggest is that figuring out where Resistance comes from is probably not as simple as it seems. The creativity of people in Africa prove that its not just about resources. It’s never fair to say “if I just had more X I could come up with a great idea.”
In the end it seems like resources are more about execution. That is were I have a massive advantage. Any one of the amazing ideas on AfriGadget might be a game changer for the person who invented it and for the communities around them, but the Resistance of dirty water, bad economic systems, malaria, etc stand in the way of letting those ideas grow into impact.
Uhh…this post got sort of rambly and not really making sense. Sorry for the randomness. I guess what it comes down to is this: I want to understand what allows me to be creative and to impact people with ideas and the things I do. And, I want to understand what stands in the way of that. Likewise, I want to understand those things for somebody who lives in Uganda.
I’ll leave you with one more picture about creativity: