An Open Letter To People Who Look Down On The Fine Arts

An Open Letter To People Who Look Down On The Fine Arts

The Arts Are Not Useless
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Imagine this: you go to work, as usual, watching everyone dressed in leaves on a grassy plain. Afterward, you entertain yourself by throwing a ball around. You miss dancing. You have nothing to dance to. Music doesn’t exist. You return home to a box that you found the other day. Houses collapsed long ago with business buildings when architects stopped. You fall asleep thinking about that old movie poster that you threw out and you wonder if your children have ever heard of movies or plays. You realize that they will lead lackluster childhoods–after all, roleplaying, singing, and watching movies are all now impossible. You’ll have to memorize what they look like. The world officially deemed photography to be “art” and threw it out. How will your kids survive the winter? With fashion designers gone, who’s left to create clothing?

That’s the world without art.

The arts create humanity every day. They shape us, whether we’re art majors, STEM majors, custodians, therapists, cashiers, or CEOs. They permeate everything that we think, say, and do. They're part of our cultures, our passions, and our lives. So why do people call it “unnecessary?” The jokes always come up in daily life, sometimes thoughtless (“You value your hobbies more than making a living.”) and sometimes intentionally harmful (“You’ll never get anywhere in life. Your degree is useless and so are you.”). Three types of people scoff at art: those who fear, those who ignore, and those who worry.

If the arts are really so insignificant, then why are they always the first to encounter censorship? I believe that people know the importance of music, of paintings, and of “Internet memes,” even on an unconscious level. They know how easy it is for a powerful song to make someone feel surges of emotions (like how Adele's songs seem to make people cry over partners that they never had). They know that what starts as a simple melody can become rallying cries of protestors (see also: the national anthem in the French Revolution). They’re not laughing at art because they think that it’s nothing, they’re laughing because they’re scared.

Others ignore the arts. Some people refuse to be in touch with their emotions. They believe that living life with practicality will make them successful. It will. They’ll survive and earn a living, maybe build a family off of their income and be in love with their careers, but completely rejecting the therapeutic effects of the arts hurts them. They want funding for arts education to be cut, but they also want their movies, their shows, and their advertisements. They want to wear professional clothing to work every day, but they don’t want to support the people who design it. It’s possible to live with the acceptance of both STEM majors and art majors. Even doctors find the time to form orchestras.

Angry critics will always argue that the arts are almost entirely emotion-driven. I agree. Isn’t that what makes art so powerful? Emotions form identity and if the arts can’t exist without identity, then every form of art is who we are. Art is being. Whether we are the bright-eyed innocents of small statures and great imaginations or the wise-eyed veterans of the world, we cannot be without it or it without us.

Don’t worry on the behalf of fine arts majors and artists. We’re aware of the hardships in this field. We hear it every day and we choose it anyway. Besides, the “starving artists” stereotype often comes from people who aren’t sure what to do with their talents. Times are changing. Art entrepreneurship has now become widespread as more courses and programs delve into the subject. We’re taking care of ourselves. We worry too, but we’ll be okay.

Everything plays a part in the structure of this world, but the arts are there to connect them. When humans die away, when the last wars have been fought and the rains fall without us, every form of art that outlives us will be the true captured essence of who we are now. Dear critics, I’m asking you to let go of your fear that we’re throwing away our lives for nothing. Let it go and let us make art. Let music therapists, designers, producers, singers, performers, and painters continue to serve you and we’ll let art continue to tell your story and ours.

Cover Image Credit: Caroline Jok

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Dear America, We Can Step Forward As A Country If We Stop Believing That Only One Belief Is Valid

It's time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

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Dear America,

2018 was a year of political strife and conflict. The left and the right fought constantly. Republicans and Democrats blamed each other for the tiniest mistakes, and there were only a small number of successful bipartisan deals. Politicians and citizens alike seemed more concerned with sticking to party platforms, even ones they truly didn't believe in, rather than compromising with the other side to improve our society.Yet all this name-calling and hatred — what does it do in the end? What does it accomplish?

We've only seen an increased polarization of American politics and an expanded hostility towards "the other side." We don't consider the well-being of each and every person in America and the bettering of our society, or the building of a stronger world for our children and grandchildren.

We spend so much time insulting each other's political beliefs that we forget probably the most important fact that links us all together: We are all human. We all share the same basic needs, the same struggles, the same moments of happiness and sadness.

And yet we are willing to put our similarities aside and only focus on our differences. We are willing to thrust ourselves into the deep anger and loathing that comes in attacking those different from us. We are willing to parry insults behind the safety of a phone screen and forget all about what makes us alike. And we are willing to gloss over the fact that we have more similarities than differences.

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Yes, political beliefs make a person. Political beliefs define the values, ideas and thoughts of a person. But sometimes, we have to reach over those beliefs, as hard as that may be, and focus on the bigger picture at hand. What will insulting someone because of those beliefs do? It definitely won't change their views or make them see things from your point of view.

It's sad and frustrating that this endless fighting doesn't even occur between two countries or two governments or two nation-states. Instead, we see arguments and strife between two family members, two neighbors or even two strangers, all living in the same community and under the same government, all sharing more similarities than differences.

We need to stop focusing so much on singular ideas. We need to stop believing in the close-minded idea that only one thought is the best thought. And instead of wasting energy trying to change other's opinions, we need to use that energy and time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities.

These past few years have truly divided America. Let's make 2019 a year of unity, because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

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