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Artist's time for change
To be who you are
Not so long time ago women had to fight their way to be acknowledged as men are. To be no longer possession of a man and have the same rights it took quite an effort to change people's perspective. The same similarities we can observe among any group that had to fight to be heard and treated equally, whether these were women, other than white races, gays, they all once were pushed away and treated as... well we all know how they were perceived.
In today's world we seem to be so modern, so open minded and tolerant towards others that seem to be different than us. We are still in the transition to understand more about complexity of a human being and although rarely, every now and then we still can encounter somebody who is laughing from somebody else's suffering from mental diseases, whether it is a depression, phobias, bipolar or any kind of disorder.
Quite a number of countries, their governments understand that poor people are not worse than others and apply pretty good social support service to help and improve the situation.
Still in our transition, we need to go a bit further and deeper in understanding. For example, clinical approach of the medicine doesn't allow often for alternative more healthy methods to assist people to deal with their mental or physical challenges. It is so easy to give a pill, which makes one addicted more and then treat this person from addiction by giving another type of medication. It just doesn't make sense and I wonder how so evolved societies can still engage in that. So often the only help insured people can get is a pill as alternative therapies still can be too expensive and not available in every country.
Although a lot has changed, one can still observe tendencies in thinking of following generations. Does it sound familiar or did you hear that before:
- Choose the profession that will bring you money, so you have a better life than we; or you have good life as we do.
There is a still quite a numbers of opinions - beliefs that force people to be who they are not. Just like before women tried to become like men, just like before some other races tried to please white people, now we, more or less, still go against who we are and we are convinced that we are doing the right thing, we try to apply for programs, studies, jobs we don't really feel for. For the better future we compromise ourselves to the point we don't know what we like anymore, what our dreams were, because all we remember is who we should be, what society wants us to be. And of course this is changing, but the pressure to make money doesn't really allow a lot of people for even figuring this all out.
This is only part of it. Just like before there were women, other races, now I see the same road of trying to be heard is meant for the group I call artists. The connotation to meaning of the word: an artist is still mostly bad in society, someone lazy, not realistic, and unable to sustain self and being mostly parasite to the community. Nobody cares what artist creates. People still think that most of it, is not needed. Even that is changing, although very slowly, as we do have programs for artists, however most of them are designed the way no sane person would even get involved in this kind of business. Grants given for artistic projects if calculated for the income for single artist are as if the person works full time mostly for free. The income is far less than least appreciated professions in this world.
- Nobody wants your artwork. Get yourself normal job, settle down. - perhaps you heard these kind of statements. - Nobody cares what you do unless you bring money home. No money, no respect, no voice in the society.
There is nobody to blame and there is no need to talk in terms of blame. Partly it is the system of beliefs, that doesn't allow artists for serving humanity more and partly is how artists perceived by others perceive themselves. A lot of them still don't feel needed, confident, precious enough to even ask for something more in life.
As young people, artists have the passion and desire that pushes them through and make them believe all is possible. However later on they see how few of them can really fulfill their dreams. It is so much different in other professions where if not famous, the person still survives. For artists however the pressure of being the best and perfect is enormous, because they know if they won't be the greatest, they won't make money to even go on from month to month. Additionally to that an artists usually practices every day the skills while in most of the professions the person after work goes home and forgets all till the next day and doesn't have to be extraordinary fit.
So more artists stay poor considering materialistic part, trying to "make it" in the world or they start to learn how to deny themselves and become somebody who they are not. They paying the price of own happiness and health as well as sanity. Perhaps this is why so many of the artists are diagnosed with some sort of mental disorder. Of course it doesn't apply only to them, there are still plenty of people trying to work in places, conditions and time hours that are not supporting their well being.
There are also those who accept as they call it their "fate" and realize own little projects that keeps them somehow fulfilled, happy from what they accomplished surviving on a minimum which is the art in itself.
What can be done about this situation? As with everything else the change must happen within us, artists, creative minds. We need to start from Selves, change our perspective about who we are, finding out more about our purpose and taking a step at a time, act.
* By creating a community where artists can grow, exchange, support each other and change their attitude to find a link to the others, to be heard and acknowledged.
* Gaining more awareness about own limits, compromises, abilities, skills, therefore asking Self such questions as: how much do I want to work for free? What is my rate for work? What is the rate that below I don't go? Whom my service can help? What do I want to bring into this world? What I want to share? What is most important for me? Why?
* Starting programs already in high school where everybody can get a coach, psychologist to help with self awareness and direction of life. The decision teenagers make that time and in college is crucial for their further life.
Personally, I think life is too short to live somebody else's way, overwork to live later when we won't probably have energy, health to do things we can do only now. There is no future that you can hope for the better, be more free, alive, happy. If not NOW then trust me, never. If you work to become rich, you are lying to yourself. You want this very precious "something" that you think richness will bring you. So ask yourself what quality is behind this "thing" you think you want?
If you think you cannot change, make another decision, say "no" to the situation you know won't serve you, you again are lying to yourself and saying excuses cause you fear of losing something that you don't even want but it is forced on you and everybody act this way. There is never good decision under pressure! So if somebody proposes you terrible conditions, follow rather what you feel and yes, hesitate to say "yes", gain more time to think, rethink and wait. Follow your feeling of peace so you can figure out logically what will serve you.
And to be not misunderstood I am not stating we should go all the way toward what we want without any realistic thought accompanying to it. I am saying we need to figure out how to find balance, link between what we love to do, what we have skills for and how we can use that to sustain ourselves in the best possible way to serve us and those around us.
Do you think additional facilitation programs for people would be helpful to raise their awareness of what their skills, talents, predispositions are and how to link them to best career for them?
What are your thoughts?
You are welcome to share your thoughts, add suggestions.
“A fine work of art - music, dance, painting, story - has the power to silence the chatter in the mind and lift us to another place.”
― Robert McKee
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Please keep in mind
The text is based on my personal experience as a coach and artist myself, observation and conversations with others. If this is somehow meaningful to you, let me know about it.