“But you see,” said Roark quietly, “I have, let’s say, sixty years to live. Most of that time will be spent working. I’ve chosen the work I want to do. If I find no joy in it, then I’m only condemning myself to sixty years of torture. And I can find the joy only if I do my work in the best way possible to me. But the best is a matter of standards—and I set my own standards. I inherit nothing. I stand at the end of no tradition. I may, perhaps, stand at the beginning of one.”
Traditionalist Thinkers vs The Modern Creatives
In life, there will always be two types of people. There will be the kinds of people who only follow the roads that have been paved before them, and there will be originals who shape their own path through life without the restrictions and limitations that come with adhering to all of the rules of their predecessors.
Personally, I can’t stand doing most things in the traditional sense and so I’ve earned myself somewhat of a reputation as a black sheep or a rebel. Now, I feel that I’m very accepting of each and every person’s unique style, whether it’s traditional or modern. However, when those people on either side start to turn their noses up at anything other than that which they’re familiar with – I find it incredibly pretentious and groan worthy.
Let’s be honest though, it’s usually the traditionalists who feel the pretense and judgement more strongly. Modern creatives don’t usually shun tradition, they learn from it and adapt it to fit their own unique ideas. Traditionalists don’t like change, they like established rules and precedents. I think that all throughout history, there have been forces hard at work, fighting against change and mocking movements of change. But, the sad part of it all, is that before their traditions were ever established they were first created by a modern creative in another era. Someone who pushed the boundaries and formalities of what the norms were in that time.
Hell, even in science, great minds have always been mocked for their out-of-the-box ideals and beliefs. Albert Einstein was absolutely ridiculed for his beliefs on the theory of General Relativity, and we all know how that turned out years later. It is now the established norm and held true by all of the Traditionalist thinkers of today. The next man to create a brand new theory for the future of humanity will have to deal with the same headaches as Einstein did.
There’s that saying, “Great minds think alike”, which is true in some cases but I believe that quote is more or less horse shit. The greatest minds have never thought alike, the greatest minds have dared to be unique. If one believes that they are a great mind just because they think like other intelligent people, then they’re really only puffing up their big egos.
Traditionalists hold on to ideas that have previously been established and modern creatives are in the process of establishing new ideas. Traditionalists absolutely hate the thought of this, because in their eyes, it threatens their entire view of what is “right” and “wrong” in the world. They are black and white thinkers. Modern creatives and out-of-the-box thinkers see the world in shades of grey and they’re looking to play with what they find.
I believe the more educated the writer, the higher the odds are that this writer may become bogged down by traditionalist thinking and pretense in their work, and with the work of others. I am a huge advocate for further education, and I can’t wait to attend University in just a few weeks to further my depth of understanding in the liberal arts, but I will not allow my education to hamper my out-of-the-box thinking or humility. I’m also not going to buy into every established norm that is presented to me, which I imagine, will be much to the chagrin of some of my future professors. I suspect that at times, I may be considered “difficult” for not simply falling in line.
However, the moment that we begin to think that we have it all figured out we become dull, stale and lose our imagination in a big way. Fresh ideas bring about meaningful change and closed-minded thinking does nothing but keep us where we are. Also, close-minded thinking, arrogance and superiority is abrasive. There’s no way to influence blossoming minds in a positive way when those traits are burning strong in a teacher. A humble heart and soul goes a long way to affecting the lives of others in a positive, meaningful way.
If you want to try and prove that your ideas are superior, than you may try to do so in your own way, but truly, we should only ever be in competition with ourselves. We should seek to push our own limits, rather than trying to hinder the limits of others. Be open to new ideas, or find yourself regressing in to the past with the rest of tradition. Also, never be afraid to push the boundaries of established norms and to create your own unique path in whatever it is you do. Not everyone’s opinion matters. Quality can be subjective.