Art as Life’s Purpose

Samuel - Haslett, Michigan
Entered on March 8, 2009
Age Group: 50 - 65
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe we have been given the ability to see through the Eye of God, and what we perceive is artistic truth, which can guide our lives. As humans we have a unique relationship with the creative power behind the universe. That ethereal power, which we could call “God” or “love,” has granted us the remarkable capacity to appreciate and re-create or recount the magnificent and terrible processes of creation and destruction that are part of the unfolding universe. We can see the germination of a seed and the explosion of a supernova. We can describe the progression of the one, and make images of the other. Whether observing, describing, or making, what we are doing is an “art.” Artistic ability is our gift from God; it’s our eternal aspect, our soul.

Our lives find their purpose in artistic expression. Acts of reflection and re-creation provide the meaning for our existence. Some call it “making a joyful noise.” And we do it in a thousand different ways. We can do it with efforts requiring great skill or persistence, with works of fine art, or even with small kindnesses.

We can paint a soul-stirring masterpiece, or we can offer a hand of reassurance to someone who feels lost. We can sing with a voice clear and pure, or we can say a kind word to a fellow worker. We can drive a baseball into the upper deck, or we can act with humility when offered praise. We can bring laughter to a room full of people, or we can help our neighbor plant a garden. We can discover a cure for persistent disease, or we can greet a child with a smile.

Those are all different ways that we can mirror the creative force. To put it in religious terms, they are ways that God has given to us to say his name. Some folks are blessed with extraordinary talents and can reveal the creative powers of love with crowning glories of renowned artistic, athletic or scientific endeavor. But, all of us can echo that energy in our interactions with each other. Those simple artistic efforts are what bring hope to the human condition.

I once read that we reflect the power of love through our relationships with others. We do it by being patient and kind, humble and unselfish; we do it with acts of generosity and by maintaining good temper; and we do it by being guileless, accepting of others, and by being sincere. Those qualities are threads of illumination – refractions of love’s light through the prism of daily life. That is the “art” of living. I believe it.

And, I believe there is more, but it’s for you to say, now.