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Art And Empathy On The Younger Generations

 

I’ve used a lot of art mediums throughout my life’s journey. Honestly, I’ve scribbled…painted…glued…carved…molded…well, basically I’ve done it all. And I’ve come to the realization that my obsession isn’t with art, but more the freedom that it grants.

In any other avenue of life, there are rules and parameters.

How dull is that?

Rules and parameters mean…it’s been done before. Someone has claimed it. It’s theirs. They have shaped it to their liking, slapped a patent on it and now if you wish to re-create it…you are ‘borrowing’ an idea.

But with art there are no rules, regulations, parameters. Instead of a process void of thought and critical thinking, it’s the exact opposite.

People talk of the vanishing art programs. Education is slowly becoming strictly math, science, language arts and social studies. Such a strict focus on the ideas of others. Sadly, this is a mistake that will one day create a pit of regret.

The assumption is made that math creates a critical thinker. I propose that art creates critical thinking, enabling to use of math. It’s the reason why often time music=math minded individuals. It’s the ability the see the beauty in the numbers. Minus emotion, void of desire…who the hell actually wants to do all of those repetitive assignments created by minds past. If you love math…that’s an emotion. It’s a desire. Desire drives the art process. As well as the ability to calculate. These things take a sharpness. An ability to figure it out. As an artist can look at a blank sheet and envision a vast multitude of ways to give the paper a life of it’s own…So can too a mathematician, who views a series of random numbers and attempts to make sense of them.

Language arts, while teaching the works of others,  goes on the inclination that this will teach you how to create your own. True…Language arts does teach the necessary tools of the trade. But your creation comes from emotion. To grab the entire spectrum of emotion, you need to find the emotions first. You need empathy.

You need a trigger.

Triggers can be visual, heard, tasted, touched and smelled. And some people seem to feel an entirely new sense. A 6th sense. And in order to utilize these crucial senses, you must have an ‘artistic vision’. You need to become skilled at exploring your own mind. Unbutton the top button, so to speak. Basically…broaden your horizons. Be OF the world, don’t sit on the sidelines.

One of my most…if not the most, important lessons I’ve tried to instill in my kids is to keep an open mind. Experience the issue at hand, prior to casting judgement. And in some instances, it may not be possible to experience an event. Some events we truly wish to avoid! But we can relate out of empathy. Empathy can be awoken with art. It can bring tears and an understanding, as in these works by Bansky. His attempt to cast a light on the darkness that war brings to children, was sadly and  completely accomplished.

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Bansky

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While some argue that the photos are too graphic for children, I would argue that closing their eyes to history creates a path to repetition. Social Studies classes of today, are watered down ‘incomplete sentences’.  How about throw in some Bansky?  

Throw in truth…

Allow the future generation to visualize the consequences of their future actions. Allow them to empathize. It’s like the child who asks “Is the stove hot?” You say “Yes. Don’t touch it.” And of course, just to see if you’re jerking their chain, they touch it <—Insert screaming child here. 

They need to personally experience the sensation. Verbal or physical…they need a trigger.

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Bansky

You know… if I were a government hell bent on creating a generation of  loyal, non-empathetic and  unquestioning followers….I’d remove the art….

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Where did all the people go?

Somewhere between the rich and the poor, there was once a group of humans known as the middle. They were the balance between the other two, often feeding both.  But still …there was a balance. And as a general rule, they would fly their children off to faraway states. Occasionally   they took long trips traveling the country while their  children boxed it out in the backseat of the family station wagon. Think…Chevy Chase.

Education was largely coveted and revered. It wasn’t ruled by the ‘pay me for the ignorant ramblings’ group up on Capital Hill. You know….the arseholes who blather on and on about bill changes, policies, test scores and blah blah …vomit.

The government didn’t parent the children…or attempt to drug them in hopes of bringing  up those highly prized  test scores…(Ironically, creating a generation bent on substance addiction, because their little brains no longer produce what they need…without a damn drug).   The teachers having paid for and attended college, were presumed to already know what the hell they were doing…so it was a non-issue. Play was a given. Recess gave teachers a much needed time out, while the children got to run and stretch their little legs.

Guns were for cops, the free folk and the assorted bad guys. Problems between kids however, were solved with a boxing match behind the school. Zero bullets required, and  the children lived to see round two the following morning.

Food was actually …food. It could be easily pronounced. Human immune systems were pretty  decent…mainly because antibiotics…worked. They worked because people were not being fed antibiotic loaded meat. Antibiotic resistance, was almost unheard of. Actually….people didn’t take antibiotics for every little NAMBY PAMBY BOOHOO illness! Docs didn’t pass out drugs like candy, in hopes of competing with the madness of today’s giant clinics.

There was no excuse for bad behavior. A brat was a brat. They weren’t drugged and told it wasn’t their fault. They weren’t given free run out of pity for their mental conditions. (Which oddly enough… have grown exponentially with the growth of Big Pharma, single family homes, increased divorce rates, the need of some parents to work multiple jobs….ironically…to be able to afford the daycare…so they can work multiple jobs...which …probably contributes to the increased divorce rate...go figure).

People actually had decent paying jobs, paid by companies who actually built decent products. Of course, this also meant that stuff held up better. Oak was oak…not prefabricated half plastic/ half wood shavings….well….garbage. Dressers and tables were built to last. Unlike the Walmart specials of today with cardboard backing. Workers now are  being paid less or entirely outsourced, in order to build product quicker for the all consuming American public….. just to see it fall apart. At which point, a phone call is usually made to the company…and surprise surprise…the operator is located somewhere on a faraway continent and you have no idea ...I mean none...as to what they are saying. Of course, it would be NON PC of me, if I didn’t finish that sentence with….”It’s not their fault, they just needed a job” and “It’s the lazy Americans fault for not being willing to work for 3$ a day”…oh and “We surely can’t blame the CEO’s…because who doesn’t need a swimming pool in their living room?”

I’m sure I was going somewhere with this…oh right…..

Where did all the people go?

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