Humanity has always found ways of expression. From writing to music, painting, sculpting, storytelling and more. Somehow, we all have an inherent desire to ‘say’ something. The way we express ourselves varies, but we express ourselves all the same. In an era where technological advancements are being made, it is easy to lose sight of that. The arts are not the only way we humans express ourselves. The arts are underrated. By this I mean the arts in general: music, dance, drama, writing, painting and such.
One of the ways this is made obvious is the emphasis of subjects in schools. One of the reasons the arts are underrated is that the sciences seem to be esteemed more highly. People who have a greater aptitude for the sciences are usually considered smarter. Nothing could be more wrong. There’s something I’ve read a few times in different places:
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Some claim Albert Einstein said these words but I have my doubts. Despite this, the statement has truth. Having an aptitude for one thing doesn’t make one dumb, just not apt for another thing. Unfortunately, our attitude towards the arts seems to be rigged to lean toward the negative and this shouldn’t be so.
Why The Arts Matter
Besides entertainment, the arts force us to see ourselves and society. Devices such as satire are a growing feature in our generation. A less threatening way to deal with tough and ugly subjects, satire often confronts us in a way that sneaks past our guard. And, as a result, are forced to face the horrid, and in some instances, stupidity.
Living unexamined lives can lead us into a lot of trouble as individuals and as a society. The arts should never be underrated because they help make us better. We can’t change what we won’t confront and the arts forces us to examine ourselves. We must first see and acknowledge the problems before we address them.
The arts have a sneaky way of telling us what to value; what’s important. It tells us how to live and, ultimately shapes reality. From language to apparel, the impact of art is inescapable. The arts somehow inform our identity as individuals and society.
The arts help us see the world through others’ eyes. The world isn’t one-dimensional or monochrome. There are many nuances. The arts are underrated when people think science can explain everything. Sometimes the world is more complex. Protest art in written form, for example, can help challenge and enrich our worldview.
The Internal World
Sometimes words fail to express what we feel inside. Art often gives us an outlet. I tend to process some things I can’t articulate through music. For others, anxiety or joy find expression on canvas by painting.
Where language and traditions can build barriers, the arts build bridges. A piece of music, whether in the creating or the experience, can give us shared experiences that bring us together. We don’t need to speak the same languages or have a common history. Maybe what the world needs is more art.
Art matters more than it is sometimes credited. Without different art forms finding expression, our world would be dull. Artists and what they create need to find their rightful place. Like science or other fields of study, or life, the arts should never be ridiculed or undermined.