“This is precisely the time artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.”
How did a mostly West Coast kid growing up in suburban comforts come to appreciate the plights and concerns of refugees, of inner cities, and of the oppressed? I was never persuaded by thought provoking arguments and exposés. I was won by art and beauty.
The Roots took me to a different side of Philadelphia than the one I grew up in. Khaled Hosseni brought me to Afghanistan. A chef in Brooklyn helped me gain a further appreciation for having a hyphenated cultural identity.
It’s my belief that you can’t argue a heart into desiring justice any more than you can make a person fall in love with you through a PowerPoint presentation of all the reasons you’re great. If you want other people to join you in making a better world, create a sample taste of how good it can be.
Beauty works wonders over logic and reason. If you’re a creator in any way, shape, or form- whether your work is a song, a dinner, a healthy family, or somebody’s financial bookkeeping, now is a time that you’re needed.