Let's check in with Heraclitus, the ancient Greek philosopher whom I consider to be the world's first creativity teacher. His thought for today is:
Like just about all of Heraclitus' insights, this one can be interpreted in a variety of ways. But today, the creativity strategy I see in his words is:
The act of forgiving can help us let go of past assumptions and also open our minds up to new possibilities. Here's an historical example.
After World War I, the victorious countries, still smarting from their huge financial outlays, demanded reparations from Germany. This was the most costly political decision of the entire World War I era. It undermined Germany's enfeebled economic political system, and fostered the conditions that led to the rise of Hitler.
A generation later, after World War II, Europe again faced economic and political chaos. But instead of demanding reparations from the vanquished Axis powers, the Allies took the opposite approach. Through its massive Marshall Plan aid, the United States helped to build much of the continent's infrastructure, including Germany's.
In doing so, it created conditions that encouraged economic health and political stability. By not perpetuating past grievances, they broke the cycle of war and poverty that had cost the world tens of millions of lives in the first half of the twentieth century.
Question: What can you forgive in a current problem or situation? What new assumptions can you bring into play? What solutions does that now make possible?