The slowest, most painful way to end the world is to deprive people of the things that they love. In my world, it’s the arts. Art can come in many forms. Art is music, literature, dance, and is even found in the human experience. The beauty and breathe of our world, lies in art and the emotional connection it evokes. I was lucky enough to have family and teachers who exposed me to art in many forms throughout my life.
My mom and grandmother taught me how to love unconditionally and fight for those who felt unloved. My dad and grandfather exposed me to the sites of our beautiful nation and taught me to love my country, but it wasn’t until college that I understood why we should love others, and even how to love them.
College exposed me to black and white pages that revealed an entire society’s problems and helped me make sense of my own world. College showed me beautiful works of art that were masterfully made in a way that made me lose myself inside the painting, much like I found myself doing in the lyrics of a song.
My education in humanities taught me the importance of culture and how our human experiences shape our perception of the world; from Greek history to African American history to stories of our veterans and their personal struggles after war, I discovered that their experiences are woven into my life and color my world.
Without art, music, literature, and human studies, I would live in a gray world of smog and industry. If a degree in business, engineering, architecture, etc. focuses on the outside of structures and how they work, the arts focus on the inside. The arts breathe life into a hollow hole. As humans, and as an industrial nation, we can’t survive without them.
Our world was not created on the beliefs of industry and if we’re not careful, we can destroy it due to industry. Just as we balance our personal lives when it comes to work and what we love (family, friends, etc), we must properly balance the love we have for one another and our planet, with the money and resources to protect it.
As more programs that are meant to help people are eliminated, we have more responsibility to one another than ever.
- If we can give our soldiers more weapons, we have to keep the programs that help them when they get home.
- If we build walls out of fear, we have to create art out of love.
- If we close libraries and cancel learning channels, we need to support more teachers and leaders to share stories that inspire.
- If we restrict agencies from protecting our environment we need to ask ourselves why it’s worth saving and start saving it one household at a time.
- Finally, if we are going to call ourselves a Christian nation, as the new president declared, we have to follow the basic principles of faith; love one another as God has loved us and take care of the less fortunate. Love and charity are, in fact, the foundation of all of the world’s major religions including Islam and Hinduism. If we can’t, as a nation, take care of the poor and love more than we discriminate, then we can’t call ourselves a Christian nation.
We will all fall if we place our faith in the hands of fear.
I’m a proud scholar of the arts, but I also respect the power and industry of our nation. Industry might make us #1 in the world but an athlete can’t compete without her heart.
There is room in this world (and the budget) for both. Just as we can make room in our lives for the love of family, and the work we must do to feed them and protect their future, we can find a balance that protects individuals AND our nation’s bottom line.
If in the end, the value of art, music, literature, and humanities is removed from our nation’s priorities, then it’s up to us to save her heart. Here are ways we can save the arts:
- Share stories of artists, authors, musicians, and humanitarians that have made an impact on our world.
- Share art that replaces dark, violent images with the colors of hope.
- Share music with messages of love, inspiration, and overcoming challenges.
- Share pictures of our beautiful land touched only by God.
- Share the colors of our world and do everything in your power to protect it from becoming extinct.
*There are many programs that will be defunded if the new budget is passed. A little bit of your time can make a big difference in someone else’s life. If you’d like to get involved in a charitable organization in your area, read http://expertlyflawed.com/2017/03/5-best-volunteer-organizations/