About a week ago I had the pleasure of being able to watch the movie Dead Poets Society. And while this isn't a film review, I will put in that the movie was absolutely amazing and you should all take the time to watch it.
Its an extremely powerful movie because of the raw way it portrays the power of art and creativity. Another quote from the movie that follows the scene above is, "But poetry, beauty, romance, love. These are what we stay alive for." And while the movie has many themes and messages that was the one that stuck out to me the most.
Poetry, beauty, romance, love. These are what we stay alive for.
I love to sing, I'm a member of the marching band, I write and pretend I can paint and while I am no master in any of these skills I enjoy my time doing them and consider myself to be an artist. I have felt firsthand the amazing joy that can come from being creative and I've been lucky that I live in a place and situation that allows me to create freely and with reckless abandon. And that's really important.
Dead Poet's Society got me thinking about deep down, what the hard hitting impact art takes on the human race. We've all seen those pictures that say, "The earth without art is just eh," and while that's cute and catchy and fun to say or put on a sticker, I don't think many of us really sit down to think about the deep truth of it. I know that I, as an artist and lover of art, never really thought of it before last week.
The earth without art is not just eh, the earth without art is a wasteland. The earth without art may as well not exist. Art is more than pretty paintings and nice books. Art is a life force. Art matters more than any of us could ever know.
Regardless of whether or not you define yourself as an artist, art matters. Whether it is your own art or someone else's is not important, what's important is that art is what keeps us alive. Expression and creativity is what keeps us alive.
If you were locked away in a box forced to eat tasteless food and drink water and stare at white walls in your white clothes and not sing or move or draw or speak, you would waste away. Human beings can't live without expression, because the human race is filled with passion. It is not just the artists that are filled with passion, the theatre and band kids and the painters we see online or read about in textbooks. It is the human race that is filled with passion. The office workers and the basketball players and the doctors and the bus drivers and the student council and everyone in between. Art matters to everybody.
So look at the world around you and witness and experience what it has to offer in the way of art. Not just the art in galleries but the art in a baseball game or a math equation. Its there, it beats all around us and by taking note of it, by welcoming a bit of art and creativity into your own life, you'll see that things take on a whole new meaning.
In Dead Poets Society a group of boys were living in a gray world that was completely void of art and expression. They had their futures set in stone and they didn't like the sound of it. But then Mr. Keating showed up, and opened their eyes to the beauty of life around them. He taught them that expression, creativity and art can take you great places, if only you let them.
Dead Poets Society. Dir. Peter Weir. Perf. Robin Williams. Touchstone Pictures, 1989. DVD.
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