Law in Contemporary Society
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How to get ready to be creative

-- By JooHeeKim - 28 Feb 2020

0. This essay is more about how to ready myself into a state where I am capable of creativity than how to be creative. Though all students in our class share the same end goal of being creative (at least for the purpose of this assignment), we all start from different places. Just like we take different amount of time and course of route to get to JG every morning, to get to the place of creativity we all must take different measures. To me, the first step to creativity is to provoke within myself a desire, a drive to create. I propose to myself couple of ways that I may be able to do so by reflecting on parts of me that thwart general interest and excitement in my day to day life as a law student.

1. To be creative is to have a strong desire to produce and to engage in the meaningful journey of expressing yourself in your own way, even if the contents of your expression may not be entirely original or completely unprecedented. There rarely are ideas that have never been conceived before, so it is the originality of the medium of expression of those often unoriginal ideas that makes an activity creative.

2. I describe creativity as having “a strong desire,” because strong willpower can sustain you through a journey even in the face of great uncertainty. Many students including myself enter Law School uncertain of what they want to do, why they are here, or if they have in them what it takes to get through it all. Uncertainty induces fear. Overcome by fear and timidity, I become self-deprecating, risk-averse and depressed. In this state of frailty, it is difficult to maintain clarity of the mind. I lack the alertness and awakedness I need to see the world around me with fresh eyes that will take notice of how I might add to it—and thereby be creative. When I am merely trying to get by one day at a time, I am unable to indulge in imagination and get excited by things, no matter what great things I am surrounded by—lunch talks by brilliant people, receptions where you can chit chat with smart and sharp professionals who have been through the things you are about to be put through, corridors after corridors of office doors flung wide open with professors waiting inside for students to come and strike up a meaningful conversation, administrators who are willing to help in any way they can and be a resource for you, and of course the peers! Some of the brightest minds in our age group; all these wonderful things are thrown at me and I am told how spoiled I am in the richness of the opportunities, yet I cannot appreciate them. I feel defeated that I am not taking advantage of all that is held out to me, and the sense of defeat further subtracts from the willpower, which is where I started the discussion on creativity. Because I believe the desire and willpower to create are the things I lack at the moment, the rest of the essay is about how I might obtain those things.

3. Be complacent. Believe that I am right. Learn to listen to myself before listening to others or comparing myself to others. Kelly cooked in her kitchen to keep herself sane during her 1L year, so I no longer feel like I am wasting time when I cook anymore. Heather, a 3L, never went to classes that are recorded, so I feel better about missing classes. Sam did not go to a single firm reception last year, so I feel less guilty about not showing up to the firm events. Sue did not find her OCS advisor helpful at all, so I feel better about having met with my advisor only once. I should pay less attention to what other people are doing, and not be so swept away by what other people tell me. To do so, I need to be a little bit full of myself. I am living in one of the most individualist countries after all.

4. As an asterisk to ‘be complacent,’ if someone offends me, makes me feel uncomfortable, or upsets me, then have confidence in my judgment and reassure myself that I am entitled to those feelings. Cut those people out rather than scrutinizing myself on why I cannot make better impression and please others so they do not say little things that can be hurtful.

5. Do not get too caught up with what is genuine and real. I have diagnosed myself with “genuinitis,” a disease that disables the sick from finding any motivation to make progress until she is fully convinced of being driven by a genuine creed and worthy purpose. Stop looking for a genuine cause of devotion. I beat myself up looking for those things, but I am sure many people find them outside of their career, and many others probably find the lofty creed and purpose only in hindsight, after they have done the work not knowing what for. Nobody is Virgin Mary, and this is no Annunciation or Immaculate Conception. The genuine purpose is not going to be announced to me by a voice of some supernatural origin. Genuine purpose is what I name the end product after I have spent a long time making a mess to figure something out, all the while deceiving others that I have everything put together. Have humor, be light-hearted, and do not take myself too seriously, because the gravitas of the search for the genuine only makes me passive and lethargic.

6. I am afraid this essay looks like a mash-up version of a bad self-help book, but considering where I am right now—lots of inhibition and reluctance to commit—I believe I have a fair amount of self-helping to do before I can open up my mind to creativity.

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r2 - 24 Apr 2020 - 13:22:28 - JooHeeKim
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