In a society driven by the notion of “whoever dies with the most toys wins” and “there is no free lunch” I find it difficult to get ahead with the gifts I have been given. Writing, singing, and the martial arts; the three skills that have brought me joy, discipline, and honor in my life, are now the three things that I will most likely have to give up to accommodate a skill that I have absolutely no interest in acquiring. Not only that, but I’m going to have to pay about $5,000 a year to acquire it. The age of the artesian is dying, but I believe that the arts are just as important, if not more so, than all the computing, engineering, and political careers available and demanded today. Art is what preserves the human inside of me. It’s what keeps me from turning into the conformed cyborgs of science fiction and George Orwell’s satire. In the arts, I find a balance with all things around me, I feel a deep and loving connection with nature, God, and other human beings. Art is where I can express myself in mind, body, and soul…the three facets of the human condition. When those facets are broken, we become inhuman, mutants, freaks, robots.
When I am putting pen to paper, my mind is pumping and my imagination is flowing like water onto a page that becomes a living thing. When my fists and feet move into blocks and strikes in perfect synchronization to the breathing in my chest and the movements of my opponent, something becomes more right with the world, and the tension melts away as I become lost in the form. When I ignite my vocal cords, the air turns to music and the deadly silence that binds the world around me is broken like a shackle bound to a weighted ball. Art is just as essential to the progress of the human race as computing, engineering, and politics are. So why isn’t there a demand for artisans? I could walk out and set up shop singing with my guitar, but it would never bring in as much business as the guy that set up an insurance agency right next to me, so that people can pay them to get cheated instead of doing it themselves. Society is driven by technology and greed, but I believe art holds the pivotal role in preserving our humanity and making us all better people for a better nation and a better world. This, I believe.
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