Sunday, August 8, 2010

Creative Maladjustment

Out on a photo/bike exploration with my trendy-cycling friend Mandy, we came across these giant "Cool Globes" outside of Science World... they just begged to be photographed. Around the same time I was in the midst of spending my days immersed in inspirational discussions around teaching and learning. One of my new favourite terms that came up in these discussions was "Creative Maladjustment" which was originally introduced in Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech (1958). This is what Mr. King had to say about being maladjusted:
"Modem psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word. It is the word "maladjusted." Now we all should seek to live a well‑adjusted life in order to avoid neurotic and schizophrenic personalities. But there are some things within our social order to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon you to be maladjusted. I never intend to adjust myself to segregation and dis­crimination. I never intend to adjust myself to mob rule. I never intend to adjust myself to the tragic effects of the methods of physical violence and to tragic militarism. I call upon you to be maladjusted to such things."

Educational guru, Herbert Kohl writes:
"When it is impossible to remain in harmony with one's envi­ronment without giving up deeply held moral values, creative maladjustment becomes a sane alternative to giving up altogether. Creative maladjustment consists of breaking social patterns that are morally reprehensible, taking conscious control of one's place in the environment, and readjusting the world one lives in based on personal integrity and honesty—that is, it consists of learning to survive with minimal moral and personal compromise in a thoroughly compromised world [...] It means small everyday acts of maladjustment as well as occasional major reconstruction, and it requires will, determi­nation, faith that people can be wonderful, conscious planning, and an unshakable sense of humor.
Creative maladjustment is reflective. It implies adapting your own particular maladjustment to the nature of the social systems that you find repressive. It also implies learning how other people are affected by those systems, how personal discontent can be appropriately turned into moral and political action, and how to speak out about the violence that thoughtless adjustment can cause or perpetuate."

May this entry inspire you to find your way to creatively maladjust!

*Melanie steps off soapbox*

1 comment:

  1. I had not read those passages before. Creative maladjustment. I like it. That will keep me thinking for a while.