ellen show wisdom
Posted on by tyler
who would have thought you could get significant insight from the ellen show? i just happened to be halfway watching it the other day with my wife and she had on will smith (the so-called "fresh prince").they were talking about politics and he mentioned that he had met and talked with nelson mandela. the two were talking about the role of artists in society and mandela told smith that the artist's role is to paint a picture of what the world could be like, and the politician's role is to implement it. i thought that was an awesome reminder of what we should be about as creators -- forward-looking, encouraging, creating wonder and excitement for what could be. my self-initiated work in the past has been more about critical comments on the status-quo, but since graduate school, i've been trying to be more positive about what we could be doing and offering possibilities and solutions. mandela's thought is also a good reminder as i attempt to work on a poster for an exhibit at eastern michigan university. stay positive, introduce challenging new ideas, avoid sloganeering and one-liners, introduce new possibilities, carefully consider audience and context. we'll see what happens there...
the second half of the above phrase, "...the politician's role is to implement it." is problematic from my perspective, unless you assign each of us the role of "politician". it's really problematic to try and legislate and enforce changes when people are not internally motivated to change. people have to understand the situation and see that the benefits of changing outweigh the current benefits of staying the course. in that way i think we all need to play "politician" in the sense that we each should be discussing issues important to the survival of our families, communities, and world. it is each of our individual roles to implement a vision of how the world should be. if each of us is pulling a little bit of weight, the load is actually quite light.