Have you ever noticed how quickly we label folks in society? We either label them stupid, dumb, creative, brilliant, or a genius, but have you ever stopped to consider which is which before you made that call? Indeed, we are all guilty of stereotyping even if we claim not to be. That is to say that we make observations of people by categorizing them fairly regularly, despite our disdain for labels and the fact that we would never say anything that was off the scale of political correctness out loud.
In observation of this we note that often people are labeled as creative, almost as if an excuse for their behavior. “Oh, he’s creative.” Sometimes we stereotype someone as creative for a work of art, song, poem, or design. “That is so creative, she is brilliant.” Perhaps, you have noticed the reviews for plays, movies or novels and the word brilliant is used by all the reviewers to label the piece or the actor or writer? Are they really brilliant? And what is the difference between a creative person and a brilliant one?
Indeed, I would submit to you that all humans are basically creative, once they learn to think. Unfortunately, we train people to do memorization and then they sit and watch TV for hours a day, surely this curtails the creative nature of a human being. The memorizing of facts, gathering of knowledge and rewards for getting an answer right on a test can do a disservice to the creative mind. Perhaps, that is why when we see a student that is doing poor in school, but comes up with interesting or brilliant stuff, we say; “Oh he is creative,” as an excuse for his poor test scores.
However, creativity is something all humans have and they have lots of it, so being creative is nothing special, although most folks perceive it to be, maybe because they have lost their creativity through social conditioning, education, or bombardment of mass media. Interestingly enough, we label folks intelligent or smart if they are up on all the latest information from the media, and have the answers to all the trivia questions. But remembering facts and figures is only one part of intelligence, there are some 7 or 8 different tests for intelligence and having lots of facts stored in one’s head is only one of the abilities.
In reality a smart person would do very well on tests, but true smarts would also have a bit of cunning in there. Cunning is a form of creativity and shows intelligence in other ways. So, in reality a creative person is someone who has one set of skills and a smart person has the other set. Highly intelligent people have both sets. And brilliant people can use both sets together very well. Geniuses use these skills to their optimum. So, this appears to be the difference; at least in our present period and in our current society. The dictionary might have a different set of described values, but the current context is what is important here.