(Picture of me and Ali Gerawi)
Both my partner in this activity, Ali, and I agreed that yes, art is important in today’s world. As Ali mentioned, art shines a different light on things. It helps bring people together and can unite us despite our differences. Art is useful even though there can be a lack of emphasis on the arts compared to other fields, like math and science.
Indeed, there seems to be a stronger focus on doing/majoring/investing time in other things in general than making art. In school, other areas of study are required; it would not be surprising to find an art class optional. I’m not going to force my beliefs on someone else, but I think that art should at least be a consideration for people. There are so many options and fields of art that it’s hard not to find something that suits one’s interests.
I think our world would be much more mundane if we didn’t have art. No paintings, sculptures, films, music, etc. We can take these things for granted. But art is without a doubt part of the human race. Interestingly enough, we may not be able to recall the names of doctors and engineers in history, but we can remember and identify artists. In a lot of careers, once you’re gone, you don’t leave much behind except perhaps a memory. But in a field like this, through your work you can leave some kind of legacy. The hard, brutal question of “What have I done with my life?” that can hit a middle-aged person is harder to answer when you just have a desk job, to be honest. For me, the reason I keep mentioning this is I want a career where I’m making a (positive) difference, but also one where I leave something behind through my work. I mean if I’m spending so much time in something, I might as well make it count, right? That’s my reasoning. One of my good friends is in Nursing here at CSULB. He’s worked very hard, and it’s paid off. But just this week, he told me how he didn’t like the fact that his job as a future nurse, in his opinion, won’t leave much behind once he’s retired. While I told him that it is noble to pursue something that helps other people, like nursing does, the truth is that even people he’ll help won’t last.
Side question: What the hell are we supposed to do? Are we supposed to achieve the ‘American Dream,’ which requires a certain amount of stability/security in our jobs and more so our lives, or are we supposed to be risk-takers and do things out of our comfort zone, hoping it’ll be worth it? The latter doesn’t seem to be very popular. And it’s a dilemma, but the reason I ask myself this now is because I don’t want to be asking it when I’m 80. Too late then, Bingo waits for no man.