Doing a little reading for my C.S. paper while I’m away… this quote stuck out from a Dorothy Sayers (English writer and Christian humanist of the early 1900s) online text I ended up perusing.
In the morality of my station and duties [i.e. of the moral code] the station presents us with the duty, and we say “Yes” or “No”. “I will” or “I will not”. We choose between obeying or disobeying a given command. In the morality of challenge or grace the situation says, “Here is a mess, a crying evil, a need! What can you do about it?” We are asked not to say “Yes” or “No” or “I will” or “I will not”, but to be inventive, to create, to discover something new. The difference between ordinary people and saints is not that saints fulfil the plain duties which ordinary men neglect. The things saints do have not usually occurred to ordinary people at all…. “Gracious” conduct is somehow like the work of an artist. It needs imagination and spontaneity. It is not a choice between presented alternatives but the creation of something new.
– A. D. Lindsay in The Two Moralities
One of the quotes that my Metaphor, Language and Thought class prof left us with at the end of last semester was something along the lines of: “Creativity is what makes the human brain unique.” We are the only beings who have the capacity for creativity. We find the most extraordinary parallels in nature, from comparing life to travelling along a road (I’ve got a long way to go; I’m almost there) to making humourous remarks by frame-shifting (I’m going to have to elaborate on this one with class notes).
“… not a choice between alternatives, but the creation of something new.”