Classical education develops creativity, which is the essential element that sets genius apart from the ordinary. Without creativity, genius would not be able to develop in the mind of an individual. Einstein is an example of an individual who had a high degree of creativity. He was an accomplished violinist. He maintained that when his mind was stumped and he couldn’t get past a certain point in his scientific work he would get his violin out and play. When he did this, his mind would begin to think creatively, and he was able to push through to new discoveries.
Without creativity, the field of science would not have developed to the point that it is today, and the fact that creativity has not been fostered more in our schools is the reason why science has not made even more progress. Creativity is essential in developing the kind of minds it takes to be able to investigate and make progress in the field of scientific research. It is the only way that new discoveries have been made, and a higher understanding of the principles that govern science have been acquired. Creativity enables the mind to understand principles that it would not otherwise be able to understand.
Creativity enhances the imagination. Imagination is what is needed to inspire people to work towards a goal. It uplifts people to envision a better tomorrow and to work to achieve hew heights. The inspiration that is achieved through creativity propels people to action, to have a commitment and the intention to focus on achieving their goals. By contrast, the ordinary person lives in the here and now, and does not have an outlook on tomorrow, or the intention to achieve anything new. The idea of creating something that will make their future better is not in the minds of ordinary people. Their minds are focused on the pleasures they can obtain in the present, or the pain they want to avoid. Or their minds are focused on fantasy, which is living outside of reality, and is not intended to be achieved and is usually not achievable. People with ordinary minds have not developed their capacity for creativity. But nearly every person has the potential for the development of the ingenious mind, but without the development of their creativity this will not happen.
Classical education not only develops the ingenious characteristic in the mind, but it develops a culture that is focused on beauty. Classical education develops a higher standard of morals, develops character, integrity, and compassion for others. Today, more than ever we need a cultural up-shift. We need citizens who have an appreciation for the beauty in life, and not just living for our every day pleasures.
Think about the culture that we live in today, and the culture we want to live in. The present culture is one where people live for today with little thought for tomorrow. The element of compassion has all but vanished from our society, each person living for him/herself to gratify pleasures. Do we want to live in a world where there is no appreciation for anything but making a profit? Or winning a game? It was people like Beethoven, Bach, and Einstein who inspired people to imagine a future of what we could become, or to imagine the world we want to create. Plutarch inspired character development in people like George Washington. By learning about Plutarch’s writings, American youth can learn about the foundation of their liberties, by learning about what inspired their founding fathers. We need more optimism in our citizens. We need a renewed commitment to the American tradition of classical education.