Plato. Rousseau. Locke. Pink? These are great philosophers. Yes, even Pink. Author Daniel Pink visited Bexley High School on April 11. Pink's topic was creativity and originality, and how it applies to modern learning. I felt like I had stumbled onto a treasure chest of insight.

Plato. Rousseau. Locke. Pink? These are great philosophers. Yes, even Pink. Author Daniel Pink visited Bexley High School on April 11. Pink's topic was creativity and originality, and how it applies to modern learning. I felt like I had stumbled onto a treasure chest of insight.

He said we are incredible, simply because we think. No computer could ever be programmed to possess all that a person does.

As high school students, we need to be assured that we can succeed, whether or not we actually will. While listening to Pink's condensed list of things that will "rock [our] world," three words stood out.

Abundance is the first word. Pink explained this is the materialistic element of our culture -- always wanting the latest and greatest inventions and then the updated versions of the latest and greatest inventions.

Asia is the second word. "Can someone overseas do my job faster and cheaper?" We ask ourselves this and, for the majority of Middle America, the answer is most always "yes." The location of the workers we outsource our jobs to is virtually meaningless to the corporations that hire them.

Automation is the third word. Automatic tasks that can be easily replicated by a computer or software or have a set routine are not going to be done by us for very much longer. "People are not vending machines for right answers," Pink said.

What distinguishes us from computer and software is our ability to reason aesthetically, think horizontally and observe fully. Math is just great, and yes, the next theorem will be thought out by a person, the next Sistine Chapel will be designed by a person, and the next planet will be discovered by a person. We need to use our empathetic, emotional minds not for meager tasks but for design and thought, for wonderful discoveries. As the field of engineering grows, so does the need for design. "What makes us human?" Pink asked. We can teach core skills, but not mind and individuality.

Pink explained that the art world is at the center of the economy, entertainment industry and corporate world. "The ability to communicate, innovate and lead is the most important thing today," Pink said. He said we need to find play, meaning and symphony, and learn it now, rather than learning art as a second language.

Pink, author of several books, gives career advice in one of his most recent. These nuggets of knowledge include "there is no plan," "it's not about you," "leave an imprint," leave one with a sense of smallness and insignificance in a colossal world.

But here's how I think about it: the 7 billion computers in the world have collectively made one imprint, which is the expansion of technology. If the 6 billion people who live on Earth each leave something behind, we have made 6 billion imprints. Whether it's on a heart, a home, a mind, a body or a soul, we need to leave our imprint.

"The development of individuals mirrors the development of society," Pink said.

We need to remember that the world is about the imprints we make on each other. And that's something only we can do.

Lucy Freccia, a Bexley High School junior, writes for the school newspaper, The Torch.

Lucy

Freccia