So there we float, way up in the sky, looking down on the home planet. What a sight—awe-inspiring.
Just this morning, while finishing breakfast, you stressed about the high cost of groceries and how tough it will be to pay the mortgage this month, along with that $900 bill to repair the car. The newspaper reported several dozen killed in a suicide bombing in Baghdad, along with another record week of foreclosures and unemployment filings. Some of us stopped for gas—maybe thought a moment about that finite resource and the sheer cliff we leave for our children’s energy future. Oh yeah, the global warming thing—will our coastal areas disappear, polar bears become extinct and massive weather events batter the hapless environment?
At the moment though, all we see is a breathtaking view of Earth. Never has any masterpiece of art captured such a spectacle. The crisp deep blue of the oceans, dramatic hues of green, gray and white—all viewed in the utter silence and loneliness of black space.
No one speaks, for there is nothing to be said…we all process through our own souls. In the midst of this experience, a common feeling lurks. All of the fears and concerns of the morning have been replaced by a simple understanding of who we are and how small and insignificant our worries fit in the big scheme. Certainly more than we can wrap our logical mind around, so we head to an arena which only humans inhabit—art and sense of creation. Some of us imagine a symphony to the scene, while others may envision a palette of colors to be painted on canvas. Several pens and notebooks come out to be filled with prose or poetry.
So, just what are you getting at Mike?
Okay, since you asked, I am disturbed by a growing ignorance to the importance of art with our youth, and the subsequent attitude of the education system. I realize it is budget inspired, but as we pull back more and more, we may be cutting off a critical point of their creativity.
But it’s all around us, you may say—parents, friends and outside influences can and do inspire and fill our children with the understanding, appreciation and absorption of the arts which will fill their senses and carry them toward a life rich with culture, creativity and understanding of those things which link all humans.
Oh…wait—did you forget about the kids whose parents could give a damn–or tell them to go to their room, while they light up/drink—well…how about the exhausted moms and dads that invest in upgraded cable so the youngsters can get their arts training through Hannah Montana or VH1? Hmm…”Ah, they’ll figure it out one day. I did. Right? …I can’t hear you…”
We are a growing international community and it is critical to keep moving that wave forward. Many differences separate us from the other diverse cultures of the world or even in our own country. Seems there are only a few common links—sports competition and the arts. Everything else seems local. Why do we not realize that and seize the opportunity to put our youth in that common ground, which has always been our means to “break the ice” and shatter many a barrier? Is it too “big picture?” Is school not the time or place to introduce anything past black and white learning? Are the benefits too subjective to understand?
This video brings it all home to me. Please use headphones to do it justice…
For info on how you can support arts in the schools, this link is a good start – Support the Arts
For those who have seen the Earth from space, and for the hundreds and perhaps thousands more who will, the experience most certainly changes your perspective. The things that we share in our world are far more valuable than those which divide us. –Donald Williams, U.S. Astronaut