We kicked it to the curb long ago and now it seems clearer than ever that we’re paying the price.
When you disregard and disrespect art, it will get revenge. Not the evil kind of revenge … but more like natural retribution. In short, what goes around comes around.
Art and music and dance and writing are inherent expressions of the soul. They’re outlets for pent-up emotions or unspoken ideas or unexplored spirituality. When things go wrong, you can always find release in your personal creativity ...
… But not if you cut them from society’s budget. Not if you kick them to the curb as we’ve done.
We’ve been denying our souls the opportunity to express and now … here we are. We’re shouting and screaming and lashing out and verbally if not physically attacking perfect strangers on the street.
We decided to defund art. This was intentional. We had other, more practical priorities. Something else was always more important. The practicality of “viable employment,” the pursuit of success, money, power and fame seemed more advisable and desirable.
But art is having its revenge. Can’t you see it? Can’t you hear it? Can’t you feel it? Our disrespect of art has metastasized and it’s bringing down our culture. Literally.
Many adults today have no idea how to creatively express themselves. They never learned. There was no art teacher because there was no budget. These are often the very same people we see getting into Walmart brawls over nothing on CNN.
And again, here we are, wondering what on earth went wrong. Granted, a lot went wrong. It wasn’t only about how we treated art and creative endeavors, but art is what we talk about here … and so that’s our focus.
Have I ever told you that after chatting with someone for five minutes I can tell whether or not they’re very creative? Actually, I’m sure you can tell too. It’s not difficult.
There’s a calm centeredness to people who were exposed to the arts early in life. They tend to be more self-aware, empathetic, kinder, less judgmental and more perceptive. These are tools that can help you deal with the cruel challenges of our world.
For those people who thought art was a joke, think again. I truly believe that if we had not cut so much art funding in our schools decades ago, our society would be quite different today.
But hey, don’t take my word for it. I’m not a sociologist or scientist. I have not conducted a study on this topic.
Yet here’s what I know for sure. For all of the dismissing and ignoring and disrespecting we’ve been doing with regard to art, it’s still right there, sitting in the corner, waiting for us to wake up … and pick it back up.
We think we want something else and art is right there. We kicked it to the curb, but it never really left. It’s just sitting there waiting to heal our wounds and sooth our souls.
All we have to do stop and declare …
“Art to the resue!”
And then … “POOF!”
All of the problems of the world will be solved. Well … that’s a HUGE overstatement. But hey, it would be a great step in the right direction.