My musings on different political topics relevant to America today.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Crisis of Inspiration

I have noticed as I have dived into videography and photography this last year that it has rejuvenated my more artistic side that laid dormant for several years.  I had strangled the artistic out of my soul out of an idealistic pursuit of political activism.  I wanted to pursue the truth and to make others aware of the truth, whatever that truth may be.  I wanted to be a part of the change in our society by bringing awareness of social issues to the masses and highlighting the hidden factors that cause these injustices. Most on the political left never look at these factors cause their political analysis is skin deep, and refuses to consider that laws they support could in any way contribute to that injustice.  Meanwhile most on the political right refuse to acknowledge the injustice in the first place.  I wanted to bring up these connections and force the public to consider them when forming opinions.

However while I still wish to do this some day, I have noticed that in the process I have denied myself a means of expressing myself.  When I started videography and photography, it forced me to embrace a side of me I had denied since elementary school, my artistic side.  Secretly it has always been there, for I have always been a romantic of sorts, but for whatever reason I didn't consider ever embracing the inner romantic, but instead denied it and turned towards "realism", or "pragmatism", or whatever you wanted to call it.  I had been caught up in our society's habitual cynicism and sarcasm.  Any time something emotionally inspired me I had to put it down, joke about, and beat the life out of it to prevent ever embracing the "useless" side of me.  Romanticism in all its forms was taboo to me, and I fought it at every turn and turned towards harsh facts instead.

Now that I have allowed the inner romantic to flourish, and to allow my creative side to express itself to the fullest,  I feel more complete as a person, and I believe ultimately it will complement my goals in life as well.  You cannot just engage people's brains, you have to engage their heart as well.  There is much beauty in the world, and many powerful stories that can inspire, and many songs that are pleasing to the ear, and many amazing landscapes that engage us on a far deeper level than mere facts.  While facts are very important, they are not the whole story.  Afterall, no one does something simply because its the "logical" thing to do.  Emotions drive us at our very core.  When deciding what our career should be, who we should date (and possibly marry), where we will live, where we will go to school, the illogical plays just as much a role, if not more of a role, than the logical.  We clearly do not base all our decisions simply on what will maximize our personal material benefit, and neither should we.

Now this does not mean we can simply ignore reality, I am not saying that at all.  Nevertheless there needs to be a realignment.  Our culture used to be highly optimistic and inspirational, with the American dream at the center of that.  However now that we know its a "myth", and therefore discredited and useless, we should simply discard it and instead tell people that have a small chance at doing something with their lives, that the system is stacked against them, and without external help they have no chance.  I just don't understand the point of that.  While I understand statistically its a myth, telling people the system is set up against you is setting them up for failure right from the beginning.  It would be better to be both realistic, and inspirational, than the dead callous realism that we have injected into our culture.  If efforts are directed towards inspiring people to achieve more, I believe they will achieve more.  While people who try something may and will fail, people who don't try at all fail by default.

All of this is to say that I have rediscovered the creative artistic side within me that I had kept in a cage, and that ultimately I believe allowing the artistic and creative to flourish along side the factual and technical will help me in my goals, and that the romantic outlook that corresponds with the artistic is just as necessary for people as the "realistic" outlook that corresponds with the factual.  I hope only that others are inspired to inspire as well, because at the core of our nation's problems is, I believe, a crisis of inspiration.

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