Note: Sorry I’m running a little later today. Our Ebay was hacked. Ebay reacted quickly. Will be reporting it to RCMP later. Scamming costs everyone 😦
Hi and Welcome to the A & J PEI Treasures E Jean Simpson Author Blog Post and Podcast. I’m your host, Jean coming to you from the amazing Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada! Today I’m going to talk about the need to be aware of our morals and who we are and where we come from. We need to be aware of what we believe and be clear on it while still being willing to be flexible when it is in the best interests of society in general. We need to understand that there are many different cultures and types of people in the world and that we all need to be part of society. It is also imperative that one be willing to educate yourself so that we can add to the world and improve the world view. This means find out more about the world around you and its issues. Art and literature need to support the forward momentum of all of mankind. One culture should not be more important or given more rights than another based on race, religion or sexual orientation. If you want to learn more about my take on this and find out just how important that is….stay tuned!
As an Author, I know that I have an obligation not only to my art, but also to society. We are not created in a vacuum. We come from our environment, our experiences, and our history. They, in some ways determine who you are. But, they do not have to stay like bricks in mortar. You need to be willing to learn about other cultures and other people and other beliefs. You need to accept that your culture is not the only one and that we must support everyone in order to move forward rather than staying in the past. In order to be true to yourself and society, you need to be willing to learn more about your world and the issues of the world at large. You need to be willing to make sure that, whether or not your art deals directly with social conscience, you have one or should have one. Why is this important? Well, there are a lot of reasons. Let’s start with we need to be the innovators, the ones that try to make the world a better place. We need to be the ones that sees what the world could be. Not what it is. It is the ability to see a better world that has driven much of the innovation in the arts and in the world in general. If we accept the status quo, then we will never push beyond the limits of hate, fear and discrimination. If we insist on perpetuating the status quo, then we don’t move ahead as a society.
Art is generally one of the ways that can show society that there is a better way…or at the very least a different way to deal with things. It can also show us the past (though with varying levels of accuracy due to creative license), but even there, it shows situations that occurred and the horrors of people feeling superior to another group. We see such expressions of social issues in televised shows such as Grey’s Anatomy which is currently following the issues of racism and COVID. Other movies have shown problems in society. They get people talking about these issues. They expose viewers to different ideas and different viewpoints. Whether it is life mimicking art or vice versa is not important, though oft argued. It is sufficient that it opens people’s eyes to the conditions and situations that long term refusal to deal with has created strife in society.
At 58, I had thought we had moved ahead, and maybe this is where my blog post/podcast has come from. I saw an article showing some area in my country of Canada had a Nazi flag and Confederate flag being flown. Peripherally, I knew there was still intolerance but maybe hoped it was much less serious than I thought. Perhaps, I had hoped that it was just a few … and maybe it is just a few. But, in a country where we are known for tolerance, if we have those who would fly these flags, then how far have we moved backwards. If we, as a country allow others to be mistreated due to their race, religion or sexual orientation, then how far have we regressed with COVID….or perhaps we have never moved ahead and I just lived an illusion thinking that we had improved. Perhaps the pandemic has brought out the worst in some, at least this is my hope. As Thurgood Marshall said, “The measure of a country’s greatness is its ability to retain compassion in time of crisis.” I think as a Canadian, I had hoped that we had more compassion for those who are different rather than pointing fingers, blaming, feeling threatened and hating and fixating on such things. Maybe I had hoped that it would bring out the best in society and not see it regress to hate and fear of our fellow humans. Perhaps I thought that people would care enough about each other to not make a huge issue out of wearing a mask when there are a lot more issues that we have not faced longer term. Focus on making change on something long term…human rights for people who are different colors, religions and sexual orientations. To focus on less is just to focus on being entitled since you can afford to wear or complain about wearing a mask.
Be realistically unrealistic, you are not going to change the world. You are not going to convince the world that we are all equal, though it would be beautiful to see it happen overnight…it’s been going on for centuries. When you have all you need, the focus becomes more on me than we. We can get the world to think about things and maybe move ahead. Every step ahead is a step ahead. We cannot go backwards. We’ve been there and we can’t continue to live there anymore. I hope we choose to move forward in respect and love rather than self-entitlement and hatred for everything different from the ‘mainstream’ culture.
Above everything else, truth is essential. Without it we hardly know what is honest and what rhetoric is. As Thurgood Marshall said, “Truth is more than a mental exercise.” If we find truth and understand the truth of other groups as well as our own truth, we may be able to find a common path and a common goal. We may be able to move forward toward a better world for everyone. All I do know is that we can’t keep telling our kids that we should respect them and others and the environment and keep putting caveats on this respect.
I hope that I have given you some food for thought and inspired some to look at their art and see if there are things that are being kept that no longer suit our hopefully more modern world or to accept other cultural forms of beauty. We could also think about what we could do to improve our own art and find less fault with others and their worlds. We keep talking about making a better future for our children or a better world for our children, but this should be a goal actually available to all people. It should not be made out of reach to anyone. Thanks for listening to my podcast and/or reading my blog posts and for your interest in A & J PEI Treasures!
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