Posted in Inspiration, Poems

How to be a Person

Poetry explains the unexplainable.

My father, Peter Ryder

First week of my second semester of senior year, and my english class is assigned to write a poem. I’m not a hater of poetry, in fact, I admire it and encourage my friends to trust in its mending of the mind. However, analyzing and writing it holds a bit of a challenge for me.

I have a bit more of a psychoanalytic affinity for the sciences of the mind, which is why I love to write directly on the subject rather than creating an obscure (mind you, brilliant) extended metaphor or palace of symbolism. Of course, I enjoy reading it, but I struggle to create the ideas of such gifted literary elements to incorporate in a poem.

However, my english teacher, being a passionate advocate for open minds, inspired our class toward a more approachable template of poetry: she presented poet Shane Koyczan that wrote and videoed a ten step poem titled “How to be a person.” In it, he elaborates on his moral values and their importance toward humanity. As a result, she encouraged us to artistically express the morals and important objects of humanity that are meaningful to each of us, personally.

We were required to write three stanzas, each starting with a directive and incorporate eleven lines of poetry emphasizing the values that we believe guide us toward a happier and healthier life. Like Koyczan, she had us record our voices reading our work while including the text as we read it, and additionally include an artistic element (music, art, etc).

I appreciated the way Koyczan carried out his art utilizing a solid colored background and a simple text font, so I did the same. I’d like to share my work here to showcase just some of the elements of humanity that I find to be most valuable. Of course, I have many other thoughts in regards to morality but I expounded on these three for certain reasons: clarity, mindfulness, and above all, perspective.

How to be a person.

For reference: here is the original, “How to be a person” poem by Shane Koyczan.

Posted in Inspiration, My Own Experiences, Thoughts

My Six-Word Memoirs

Six-Word Memoirs

“Can you tell your life story in six words?”

Well, many often sum up the year 2020 in two words: dumpster fire. So, why wouldn’t we be able to?

I watched the video above during my Yearbook/Independent Study class where we learned about an organization that created a project called “Six-Word Memoirs.”

The video began with an anecdote about Ernest Hemingway and his encounter to a challenge in which he could only write a story in six words. He replied, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Well, gosh, I honestly couldn’t think of a more interesting story within an entire book. Just by reading those six words, there are obvious hints of layers to them. Why are the shoes for sale? What baby did wore them? Does selling the shoes symbolize a loss, a gain? “Never worn” opens my mind to the possibility of a tragedy in the story. Moreover, the fact that they are now selling these shoes could mean a potential overcoming of grief.

Larry Smith, the founder of SMITH magazine asked his community to sum up their lives in six words. Basically, to tell their story in a six-word memoir. Eventually, the project grew increasingly popular on a global scale, publishing a best-selling book series and featuring memoirs and projects in NPR and The New Yorker.

Six words that can sum up your identity, humor, purpose, or annoyances in life – I thought it was brilliant. Short, to the point, but so cuttingly clear and full of interesting hypotheticals. As my class browsed through memoirs from students, teachers, authors, comedians, actors, even tweets, we all witnessed a plethora of stories with so much personal traction and meaning, where no two grew on the same vine. As we dove deeper toward more meaningful and genuine memoirs, my admiration for this project grew; no two memoirs were the same and each sentence procured unalike backgrounds of a variety of circumstance; in other words, behind each word was a realm of a vividly distinct imaginations and variety of defining stories… and in only six words!

Unsurprisingly, my teacher had us all write one six-word memoirs with a list of themes to choose from:

  • The year 2020
  • Your life at this moment
  • The pandemic
  • Something meaningful that happened to you
  • A telling anecdote

I’d like to share my personal six-word memoirs to help my audience understand the power that such a minuscule element of literature can have on one’s own imagination and inspiration. As always, I encourage you to get creative and embark on your own projects such as this one, but I strongly recommend writing, thinking, or simply telling your story with six words. I can’t tell you invigorating it feels to have put so much power into so little a medium.

I will disclose that in light of recent events that occurred in D.C today, I included more comic relief than a poetic and complicated strain to look toward a brighter side of life, rather than the political upheaval that has imbued so much personal anxiety and hate.

The Year 2020

Expected less from a barnyard explosion.

Your Life at this Moment

Watching “The Crown” involves less anxiety.

The Pandemic

Yeah, I forgot how to drive.

Something Meaningful that happened to You

Thank the gods for Jane Austen.

A Telling Anecdote

I carry spider- repellent in my purse.

Smith, L. (2005). Six Word Memoirs Home. Retrieved January 07, 2021, from https://www.sixwordmemoirs.com/

Posted in #LivingThroughLit, Inspiration

#LivingThroughLit #2

A Letter to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Dear Ms. Adichie,

I never understood the controversy around the word “feminist” when I was younger. I only saw it as a way for women to gain the necessary empowerment to undo the expectations imbued on them by men. I also previously lived in New York City, a fervently liberal area, so I was accustomed to conversations of the feminist structures and continuously supported by my peers. So when I identified as a feminist in a new town and school in Texas, I was dreadfully ridiculed by male friends of mine.

“That’s such a stupid term.”

“Women and men are supposed to be equal, so it’s hypocritical of you to say you’re a feminist.”

“Stop saying that, it doesn’t mean anything.”

Some of my so-called closest male friends went as far to deem women objects of the kitchen and subservient to male dominance.

“Women belong in the kitchen.”

“You’re a woman, shut up.”

“Women can’t be ________.”

I understood that these comments were intended to be funny, which of course, was their intention: to create humor. As a result, I made no refute. I simply conversed the rest of the night without remarking on earlier… “jokes.”

Over time, however, it was continuous; there didn’t seem to be an end to them. I admit, I became accustomed to it just as I was to the loving support I received in New York for the complete opposite behavior. It became a shadow in my everyday life: always around but never noticed. I found myself questioning what it meant to be a feminist and realized that I could never rebuttal these “jokes” because I didn’t have the comprehensive evaluation and analyzation about what it was that I was fighting for.

Then, I read your essay, “We Should All Be Feminists” and listened to your voice.

You opened my mind to the idea that feminism not only emphasized female empowerment, but recognized a prevalent change that hasn’t happened quite yet: the shift from the old traditions of gender to the more modernized and fair ones. You described several personal stories and depictions of gender discrimination that society so rarely pays tribute to, even women. One point particularly stuck out to me: the fact that some idealize that women are supposed to teach men how to respect and provide the proper attitude toward these conversations and situations. Essentially, this is holding women responsible for men’s behavior. “Congratulations, you can be treated equally, but you have to be the one who takes accountability for it.”

And here lies the problem.

Boys are still not being taught the proper etiquette necessary for the path to equality. Instead, they are reinforced in these inappropriate behaviors.

These stories revealed a bit of an unborn realization for me and I began to finally acknowledge the inner and outer edges of feminism and its purposes.

In other words, I finally knew how to fight back.

You helped me realize that I handled it all wrong before, that I wasn’t speaking up and therefore reinforced my friends’ manner. You helped me realize that conversation is necessary, that our perspective is necessary, no matter how difficult it would be to make myself heard.

Normalizing discussions surrounding gender inequality is a key step toward understanding feminism and where it stems from. If society simply listened rather than arguing the inevitable progression our era faces, the term “feminism” wouldn’t be tossed around as a negative connotation.

However, when I confronted my friends with my grievances, I made the same mistake. Instead of opening the table for discussion and presenting a conversation in which all participants would feel comfortable opening their minds to, I didn’t give them the chance. I was plagued by anger and misunderstanding, which led to a fenced discussion going nowhere but down.

I mention this because it’s not that I blame one side or the other for the issues we face. Quite the opposite, in fact. This is an issue that stems from humanity’s inability to compromise. In other words, we’re so stubborn that we forget about the variety of perspectives that aren’t our own.

The way you reinforce this idea on your TED Talk,”The Danger of a Single Story,” demonstrates the importance of activating open-minded strategies of thinking. The simple solution of listening is so frequently discarded because of the normalization of stereotypes and biases.

But you remind us of its efficacy and continue to fight for its prevalence, and I wanted to thank you for that.

You have influenced the way I approach heavy problems and the progression of my activism. You’ve showed me new ways of thinking and the advantages of utilizing my imagination and creativity for communal purposes. You’ve provided me with the strategies needed to have interesting and productive conversations with various sides of an argument.

I hope to see you speak in person one day and continue to read and analyze your work, as it has impacted me and my perspective substantially.

Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Sources:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Quotes (Author of Americanah). (n.d.). Retrieved December 21, 2020, from https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/11291.Chimamanda_Ngozi_Adichie

-, R., By, -, Rajitha SRajitha S is a former journalist with a national daily and is currently on a break teaching mass communication to undergraduates at a private college in Bhutan., S, R., Rajitha S is a former journalist with a national daily and is currently on a break teaching mass communication to undergraduates at a private college in Bhutan., . . . -, A. (2019, September 16). Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie And Her Feminist Activism Through Storytelling. Retrieved December 21, 2020, from https://feminisminindia.com/2019/09/16/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-feminist-activism-storytelling/

Posted in Inspiration

Matter

What does it mean for something to matter?

Matter is anything that has mass takes up space; so for something to truly matter to someone is an item that takes up considerable thought and pulls a weight on one’s mind. Additionally, matter cannot be created nor destroyed.

Personally, I believe that there are only three facets of matter that are of the utmost importance for one to survive both physically and emotionally: themselves, the people they consider family, and their morals. Everything else is optional and arbitrary for they are not there to stay.

I understand this observation seems obtuse and twisted in its own way, but there is a reason why I have to say this.

On a day where you failed a test you thought you nailed, where a boyfriend/girlfriend broke up with you, when your SAT scores didn’t turn out the way you wanted them to, remember that these moments are not representative to your survival nor your long term health. They don’t hold weight in your mind forever, therefore, they do not matter.

Kept this short and sweet because it just had to be said… at 10pm on a Sunday.

We live in an unjust and mountainous field of systems. These systems keep us alive and on our feet but they are apt to a multitude of difficulties. It seems legitimately impossible and quite frankly pointless to restrain the urge to beat yourself up over something that holds no water for the future. Get back on the horse, get help if you need it, but never back down from a fight.

Seems childish to think of it this way, right? I dare you to try it for two weeks. See how many arrows are thrown at you and count the times you tell yourself “it does not matter.” Because by definition, it does not.

Posted in Inspiration

The World Craves Literature

I have to admit, it’s been a struggle to push myself to this blank page on Word Press for the past couple of weeks. Remote learning has drained all there is out of me and replaced my eyeballs with glitchy cameras thanks to the blue glare. I’ve been so exhausted that I developed a stye in my left eye and ended up purchasing blue light glasses to manage the headaches. I was having trouble getting myself to this site to write about something that resonated with me because in all honesty, I hadn’t been seeing much that’s worth expanding and analyzing. It’s a new raucous every day in the news, more racist Karens in the media, and an alarming spread of evil that has now plagued everyone’s decisions this November.

Anyway, enough negativity; there is actually a point to this seemingly extraneous personal information. I realized that I couldn’t find meaning in my surroundings because I wasn’t looking close enough. I had developed a relapsing case of boredom and lack of motivation and failed to see the creativity that had been right in front of my internet-diseased eyes this whole time: literature.

The week before school started, I had decided to embark on a miniature reading project that required me to re-read my favorite freshman year book series and trilogies (don’t worry… I’m writing a review on those later). These books were, of course, under my current reading level, but not long after I read the first couple of chapters did I see the value of demonstrating this activity. I read further into not the story of my characters, but the act of re-evaluation. I have participated in AP English since the beginning of my freshman year of high school, but my reading skills have not always been at their current level. However, I’d rather call “reading skills” something different… how about hunting perspective? I mean, isn’t what the majority of reading is all about? To experience someone’s story through a different lens each time and interpreting the various lessons that the author wants to teach? I didn’t truly come to this realization until a couple of weeks ago when my favorite new english teacher had us read and analyze four short stories.

These short stories were specifically meant to confuse us as an audience, but they were also meant to help us see the value in questioning what’s directly in the text; that’s too easy. Re-reading my freshman-favorite books from an older, more mature version of myself allowed my mind to breathe in the text and exhale a new perspective on characters, lessons, and themes.

Well, why is this useful? Interpreting, analyzing, and studying various stories is merely the equivalent to recognizing that the world is not black and white. There will never be one right answer to a question, no single trait to define someone, no one lens to capture a moment. If you put in the effort, there is always another path to go down.

The world needs literature because life on paper is the only means of having people understand this idea and apply it to life outside the paper. We understand metaphors because we don’t want to recognize that we are living what horror the author is describing, but we have to own up to reality. Perspective hunting is the only way to truly make a dent in the impact we want to have. I’m advocating for a more just society in which we see reality the way we read literature: wholeheartedly and thoroughly. I see this as a way to make it easier for humanity to not just recognize the crises but also understand how to approach them.

Do right by the future and read, interpret, and re-read.

Posted in Inspiration

Watch and Be.

I had the rare privilege of listening to Dr. Phillip Zimbardo, a world renowned psychologist, discuss world morality and evil and how to combat it. Known for his Stanford Prison Experiment, Dr. Zimbardo was interested to see if he could turn “good” people into “bad” people by manipulating an environment to represent a prison. Eventually, it was shut down due to its unethical practices. However, it is forever infamous for establishing a revolution in APA guidelines to make controlled environmental studies healthier for participants.

Years later, Dr. Zimbardo committed himself to turn his research around during the world’s pivot from equality. Inspired by his research and the kindness of his community, he began what he called “The Heroic Imagination Project.”

Contrary from his previous experiment, the non profit’s focus was to turn ordinary people into “good” people, or rather, something of a hero.

He discussed the project’s necessity in these testing times and explained that the goal is to simply spread strength amongst our young adults. Sound familiar?

The project consists of specific lessons and modules to help people understand the psychology of decision making, good vs evil, strong vs. week, etc. This way, before people even begin to be active in their communities, they’ll understand the why behind behavior rather than going in blind. This method drastically reduces the potential violent risks that can occur due to anger and disagreement; when two groups understand each other, finding a viable solution becomes less of an impossibility.

I wish I had more time with Dr. Zimbardo, for I would have told him I fervently admire his methodology to not only provide lessons in psychology, but proactively creating change. He teaches with the intent to inspire and writes for the hope of change.

That is the type of news I wish to see on my feed. Ironically enough, psychology teaches us that humans are persuaded through visual cues and observational learning. When we present informational positivity such as that, it not only lifts our spirits, but encourages that same response on our own end. Similar to coronavirus, when inspiration hits one of us, it hits us all.

Later that week, I experienced the one and only Hamilton for the second time in my life. Of course, this experience was virtual but all the same, I was emotionally conflicted. Hamilton takes us on an intense and personal journey of the life of Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler as they migrate through the discovery of the streets and systems that make up our country today. Lin Manuel-Miranda also elaborates on the deeper meaning of history and I cannot quite understand what it is yet. All the same, he initiated a historical and original piece of art that took us on an emotional rollercoaster through the mistakes of history and humanity themselves to express a deeper root.

Why am I telling you all this? For one thing, I want my audience to understand all of the possible ways to create change through a pen and paper. However, I also want to spread the good, all I see is the bad nowadays which contributes to the anger and unrest. I want to start to see a real change out there and even if I only a reach a couple of people a day, at least I’ll know that I planted those thoughts and they’ll find their way out of my audience’s head eventually and be out there for other people to absorb and act upon eventually.

Be the change you want to see in the future because for all we know, we may be in for the long haul. Just because you’re not in a classroom, or at work, or in a laboratory doesn’t mean your duty to the country is finished. Finish what George Washington started, what Martin Luther Kind Jr. started, what your parents started, your mentor, anyone! Possibilities are endless when you determine where to start.

All it takes is a pen, paper, and a voice.

Posted in Inspiration

The Art of Social Change

I’ve been having a weird “Peter Pan” outlook lately.

The concept of growing up scares the skin off of me, and not for the reasons you’d think. The story of Peter Pan embarks on the desire to have no responsibilities and remain dependent on one’s surroundings forever. For that reason, Peter gives up on the Lost Boys and even Wendy because they have to go back to England, which represents reality, rather than stay in Neverland with Peter, representing a world without worry.

It’s accurate to say that neither one of those outcomes is expected anytime soon.

I don’t fear responsibility and leadership, in fact, I crave it; however, I am concerned to face society as an adult because I fear there will be no liberty nor unity nor stability left for me to experience.

I am concerned for the mess that the current president is leaving for incoming generations to clean up, which we are more than capable of doing, despite the unjustness of it.

Indeed, I am also fearful of the silence that we may be required to practice – this is the “liberty” aspect that I was speaking of earlier- it is a chilling notion to witness your country become prone to the dictatorship and oppression that now plagues the white house.

Regardless of my fears, I write to promote creativity and art during these testing times. So why don’t I provide some incentive? I have watched beautiful African dances on the roads, beautiful graffiti that now imbues on the walls of streets, articles and films that depict a poetry and truth to the movement that runs throughout the country and will continue to run throughout the decade.

Look at all of the incredible stories we have created: global contribution to counter an injustice, social encouragement for diversity, cultural education, and so much more. These stories emerged not from the uproar in the streets that we watch in the news, but from the culture in diverse communities that we must fight to preserve.

The books may deem this year a chaotic and disorderly time, and yes, it was and still is. However, what emerged from the violence will be an improved and just world where the citizens we promised in our constitution to protect feel protected. The fight will never be over until we see the change that should have been made three hundred years ago.

And how do we implement it?

Not with guns, nor tweets, nor instagram, but with a pen, some paper, and a voice.

Posted in History Nerds Only, Inspiration, Thoughts

A Societal Logic

There are two sides to every war. Each believe that they are building a better world and creating an improved future. It’s funny, each side refuses to alter their perspective and attempt to understand the behavior behind their opponent’s decisions – isn’t this what married couples do every day?

I’ve never experienced the technical “total war” phenomenon that generations in the Civil War and Red Scare lived through, but it certainly does feel like all of our surveillance and resources are violently circling Trump vs. the People war.

We started a movement. Many thought it would “blow over” within a week and yet we are still roaming the streets in every U.S state including 49 other countries, fighting for our neighbors. They undermine the power the People have, they undermine the rigor, the ability, and worst of all, they undermine our young. I cannot tell you how much I stress this idea: our GenZer’s will not just better the future, but reform society.

The Oppression will never blow over, the Oppressors will pay for their crimes, and the Oppressed will show us our true strength.

However, I don’t want to talk too much about the conflict, but rather the factors enabling its escalation.

The silent.

It is not my intention to sound radical, but throughout history, it was the silence and failure to act that kept us from our potential. The age group consisting of eighteen to twenty-six year olds in the US didn’t place their vote in the 2016 election, resulting in a child’s inauguration for president. Additionally, the original constitution included nothing about slaves and their place in society because of the founding father’s failure to incorporate any means of resolution.

As a whole, silence can be far more consequential than the opposing side’s actions sometimes, and it’s not difficult to understand why. How would you feel if people around you had means and capabilities to stop something horrible from happening to you and chose not to? Truly, it’s no different than high school bullying. The bystanders are just as responsible as the bullies because they watched and allowed. This phenomenon is not new in American History; look at the first two world wars. I say first two because if we keep at the rate we’re going, we’ll be lucky if our future generations know the word “peace” in their vocabulary.

I came about this concept while reading Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale in a chapter describing a billeted Nazi in the protagonist’s house. Throughout the novel, the author creates a progressing conscience in Nazi Captain Beck as the war exacerbates. The readers finally understand that Beck was against the actions of Germany but was required to follow orders and conform with his country. During a climactic chapter of the book, Captain Beck was killed by our protagonist, Vianne, because of the consequences threatened to him and his family to find a fallen pilot hidden by Vianne’s sister in the house they both resided in. What we see here is not just the bystander concept but also the societal logic that traveled throughout the narrative. The way I interpreted this chapter is that if one practices silence, the blood is on their hands as well.

My goal is not to place blame nor allow guilt, but to assess the narrative logic that bleeds into humanity today. To put it in the simplest terms: if you are not with us, you are against us. If you do nothing to fix it, you are making it easier for the opposition to imbue chaos and danger onto this democracy. Maybe you don’t care about that, some people don’t, so why don’t I give you a little more incentive:

Writers, directors, artists, photographers, or any creative leader establishes this phenomenon in which the silent are always punished because of their failure to speak up against injustice. Always.

With that, I will ask you this: Do you really think that everything is eventually going to be okay? Do you truly believe that after a few months, everything is going to go back to normal? What happens then, we just wait for another man to die? Another woman? Another inept, thoughtless goon for president? One day, you will become more than just a “watcher” if we allow the system to go unchanged.

Be a force of nature, stand up for not just yourself, but for your neighbors, your family, you children, and their children.

Your instagram aesthetic can wait; it doesn’t make you “uncool” to publicly stand with justice.

Thanks for reading.

Posted in Inspiration

He Couldn’t Breathe, and it’s Our Fault

I am sorry.

I’m sorry because I have contributed to this decades long silence that led to hundreds of deaths in the black community. I believed and supported a cause that I wasn’t doing enough for and because of that blindness, we are now at militant war with our so-called “leadership.”

Over the past couple of years, we have been in what I call, a Cold Civil war: where non-combat fighting and propaganda measures occupy the States and are used against our own brothers and sisters. Like Nazi Germany, the tyrannical side of this war has been oppressing and tormenting the other because of a certain skin color they possess. Even if you haven’t participated in this act of evil, you are almost as bad as the oppressors themselves because of your bystander tendencies. We have all been watching a war and blew it off because our privilege filtered out everything that didn’t have to do with travel plans, new clothes, or boy problems.

I’m ashamed to admit that a viral video of a man being asphyxiated is what it took for me to use my privilege for protecting natural rights when I should have begun from my very first US History class.

We built the nation on a foundation of democracy to protect ourselves from the very tyrant that currently sits on a throne of blood. Blood from the many protestors who sought only their god given rights for themselves, their families, and their children. Blood from young black men and women who’d done no wrong and were victims of a poorly managed justice system. Blood even from the law officers being beaten by opportunists during the protests.

Pity on those of us who were witnesses to these unspeakable horrors and stood by while an evil crept into the country. If the country woke up sooner, maybe the lives now lost would be fighting with us today.

Nevertheless, I have learned not to dwell on the past which is why I am proud to be a part of a generation that recognizes this dilemma and fights for a new future, even if it means defying their families’ beliefs as well. Like all teenagers in the past, we are learning from the mistakes of our leaders, government officials, adults, and even our parents; the only difference is the extremity of the experience. In other words, Generation Z has the power to find a better way. As we slowly watch our nation walk down the steps of power, our country’s teenagers continue to hold it together with their voices. The truth is, the chaos running amuck right now is not only to demand justice, but to teach us young adults. It’s our nation’s Founding Fathers asking us to be the beacon of hope for the future.

That said, I would never endorse violence, but can you imagine being oppressed for hundreds of years to the point where you are afraid of going for a jog in public? Don’t say you understand because you don’t and never will. We are living in desperate times where we need true leadership to mend the justice system and protect the rights of our black community.

I don’t want to see another name on an instagram story. I don’t want to see any more statistics. The fact of the matter is: if you can do it, vote. Vote the tyrant out.

We are living through a long and hefty chapter of a history book. Now let me ask you something: when our future students finish the chapter on 2020, do you want them to be proud of where they reside, or ashamed of their nation’s past?

Put an end to this war.

Vote.

Posted in Inspiration

Humanity’s Ubiquitous Language

I woke up today feeling excessively anxious about my AP English exam today. On top of that anxiety, I did not get a sufficient amount of sleep which only added to the stress of taking a high level exam. So, like a typical teenager, I went on instagram to try calm my nerves.

The usual, of course. Food pics… news… birthday posts… obnoxious memes… obnoxious people…

Anyway, I was scrolling for about five minutes until I came across my friend Malena’s spam account informing us that she had started a blog. Malena (Millie for short) is one of my best friends’ (Lily) best friend from California whom I met a little less than a year ago when she came to visit Austin. We quickly bonded a little later that year when she came to visit for a Thanksgiving party at Lily’s house. I checked Millie’s snapchat after I saw her post and she tagged me saying that I inspired her to start her own blog as a means of staying in touch and getting creative!

Y’all. When I tell you my heart jumped…

This is the exact response I was trying to evoke out of my audience! I want everyone to realize that art is so much more than a class you can take in school to earn credit. There is so much truth in creativity and Millie recognized it and made it a reality! How can you truly understand the world if you don’t even try to acknowledge the means that created it? I understand the difficulty in finding the nuances in art, I truly do, but art is what improves the world, it is also – as Millie put it – a way to stay connected through a large space. No matter where you go, art will always be humanity’s ubiquitous language.

Coincidentally, my AP Exam was about the critical role that art plays in society. Moreover, it was a writing prompt asking us to analyze the rhetorical strategies that John F. Kennedy used to convey the importance of art in society through a speech he gave at Amherst College. Kennedy wrote about how artists often reveal the truth in their work because they viewed the world as grounds of constant improvement. He discusses the role that art plays in nourishing our culture and our minds through grace and beauty which he believes is the way to better our nation.

You know what, he was absolutely right.

Artists see the world as one giant ball of potential and their goal is to create as much originality as possible to fill that potential. Take Thomas Paine, for example. In his pamphlet, “Common Sense,” he wrote about how it was necessary that the U.S had to break away from its (at the time) abusive mother country, England. Even though this wasn’t the groundbreaking push that sparked the American Revolution, Paine’s Enlightenment ideals recognized the true potential that the thirteen colonies had and the impossibility of fulfillment if they were to serve England throughout the passage of time.

Without art, maybe we wouldn’t have gained our independence and recognized our natural rights.

Keeping it short and sweet, I have included a couple of unique photos to spark some of that motivation I know you all have.

I believe in all of you. We have more than enough capabilities to change the world and sometimes that latent power emerges through an art form whether it’s writing, painting, singing, photographing, or maybe a new form of art that you invent!!

I believe that there is a song in all of us, we just have to find the right way to sing it.