|Shepard Fairey Arts Vote|
I had an interesting discussion with my husband this month about the difference between ignorant and stupid. I often chastise myself for thinking someone is stupid because they don’t believe in science or have a twisted view of truth. I try hard to see their point of view and be empathetic to how they might feel. But this is a hard task especially in our world that seems to be more and more polarized. I know these people are smart about lots of other things in their lives. But what I realized is that they may be uninformed once it was pointed out to me that they might just be ignoring certain ideas.
A case in point was in part 7 of the Jan 6 hearings. The family man who listened only to social media to get his news and based his opinions on a very narrow set of targeted statements. He ended up at the “steal the vote” rally and got riled up with the rhetoric and found himself eventually arrested for invading the capitol building. When he shut off the limited social media sources he was reading and really started paying attention to all points of views, he started to develop his own opinions. He saw that he had been misled and that ignorance had a high price i.e. jail time, loose of his job and his family home.
About this time, you might be asking, “What does this have to do with visual art?” I think that one of the most attractive traits of a good artist is curiosity. And if you are truly curious, you do not ignore life around you, but delve into it. I should like to send a little congratulations to all out there who are curious, who notice the world, who are tolerant and who use their art to communicate some of what they are learning.
I am also not so sure anymore how polarized we actually are. I hear this all the time but I may be a victim of the same sort of newsfeed type rants. I know the political parties are divided. The issues of gun control, diversity, equity, inclusion, abortion rights, climate change, voting rights are highly contested. But I believe that most people in America are good at heart and not adversarial in nature. If we can add more curiosity to that good nature, then a common way might be found forward.
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