Saturday 19 August 2006

On Creativity

"In northern Vietnam's rural areas, farmers, oxen and buffaloes work on farm with a wonder called 'plough'. It should be made of a tall and big tree so that it is also big and terribly heavy. One must be a musculous navvy to take the plough to fields. The ploughshare is round-shaped at the lower part, pointed at the upper part, and hardly bites the earth that buffaloes have to carry it ploddingly. Even a strong buffalo just can plough 3 Vietnamese acres per day. Despite that all, from time immemorial, none has ever thought of improving that 'abnormal' tool of production... It's just a little stuff but no Vietnamese can change it. (Because) The Vietnamese can quickly imatate on seeing something of interest, but innovation and creation is actually not with us."

"There are a great number of well-educated and high-level Vietnamese people, but scarcely any of them have suggested any new idea, introduced a unique book, invented a new thing, or coined a new theorem. I was fortunate enought to know some inventors, but they make an insignificant minority. The result is we are learners. Good learners are always good learners."

"As good learners, we learn quickly, and can make some modifications. And that is all, our mind stays and gets stuck there."

(excerpt from 'Repentant Motherland')


The lack of a creative mind is always our tragedy, me included.