Earlier this week I wrote about the need for creative professionals and other wonderful people with brilliance to share to question their ideas and assumptions to the Zone of Productive Stupidity. I received several insightful responses, stories, mail, and links to other writing – including my accomplice-in-creative un-thinking Matt Stillman.
Below is a round-up of related responses from fellow creatives. Add your own to the list.
I was cultivating stupidity. – Andres Dubus III on how he wrote his memoir Townie
To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost. – Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880)
The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. –Harlan Ellison
Wonder puts aside the known and accepted, along with sophistication, and instead serves up an intelligent naivete. – Charles Baxter, Burning Down the House
You study, you learn, but you guard the original naivete. It has to be within you, as desire for drink is within the drunkard or love is within the lover. – Henri Matisse
I gravitated to acting out of a mixture of instinct, naivete and opportunity. –Jeffrey Combs American actor
I’m guilty of extraordinary naivete, I suppose. But it’s a naivete that I really don’t want to abandon, not even now. –Jock Sturges, American photographer
A child-like man is not a man whose development has been arrested; on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves in the cocoon of middle-aged habit and convention. –Aldous Huxley
Sit down before a fact like a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion…or you shall learn nothing. – Thomas Huxley, letter to Charles Kingsley (Note: Wonder must run in the Huxley genes.)
A learned fool is more a fool than an ignorant fool. -Moliere
Dare to be naive. – Buckminster Fuller, Synergetics
I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. – Sir Isaac Newton
Some days my greatest aspiration is to spin in such naivete.
May you have a day filled with naivete, wonder, and utterly brilliant stupidity.
Drop in the Hut
Share your own favorite quotation on stupidity, naivete, or wonder here. Any of the above especially resonate with you? How are you edging yourself out of your known zone and into the Zone of Productive Stupidity?
See you in the woods,