Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Art and Health

Common Theme: art

1: “The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot.”
André Breton
2: “An ice sculpture in the Sahara makes about as much sense as donkey left open gaping wagon, Sergeant (add cream cheese sparingly). ”
Jarod Kintz, This is the best book I've ever written, and it still sucks
3: “You don't have to make something that people call art. Living is an artistic activity, there is an art to getting through the day.”
Viggo Mortensen
4: “When you make music or write or create, it's really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you're writing about at the time. ”
Lady Gaga
5: “The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.”
Leonardo da Vinci
Art, along with the written word, music and film, has played a vital role in the communication of some of the most powerful ideas throughout human history.

From graphic depictions of war, to the unusual representations of the world seen in surrealism, art has been a major cornerstone and landmark of the human race.

Viggo Mortensen once said that living is an artistic activity in itself. "You don't have to make something that people call art". Art, as well as any creative endeavour, is subject to the opinions of its viewer, and there is no right answer. Instead, the "correctness" of the art is, and should be, gauged by how powerfully it left the viewer feeling or whether it presented food for thought.

Truly great art is an investment. Made by one person, or by many, great art can inspire a whole nation to embrace new concepts and different perspectives. It can be a pivotal piece in a society's future.

Regardless, there will be those who will argue that art, being subjective by nature, is prone to misinterpretation and promote moral conflicts. Some will argue that science, mathematics and various fields of specialisation where there are results in the form of statistics and scientific proof, are areas that we as a community need to focus our efforts towards.

While there is truth to this belief, there is only so much science can tell us. And as finding the answer to the questions we ask, is there a possibility that we might not want to know what we don't know currently know? What if the truth is far bleaker than we hoped, and that perhaps it were better not to have found out?

Ignorance is bliss. For some people living in difficult, troubling or even dangerous times, science may not provide the comfort that everyone deserves to live out their life. Sometimes we need to paint a picture to show them that while as problematic their situation may be, art can bring people together, despite their differing views, and that a sense of community may be the answer we seek after all.

Leonardo da Vinci once said that the noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding. Perhaps if we all took a little bit of time in our day to enjoy art, or even as Mortensen suggested - seeing our daily activities as an art form, we would have a greater appreciation for not only ourselves, but also for nature, the universe and the people around us.


Common Theme: health

1: “Money cannot buy health, but I'd settle for a diamond-studded
Dorothy Parker
2: “Getting fit is all about mind over matter. I don't mind, so it doesn't matter.”
Adam Hargreaves, Mr Lazy's Guide To Fitness
3: “We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions
4: “the body is wiser than its inhabitants. the body is the soul. the body is god’s messenger.”
Erica Jong
5: “If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with.”
Deepak Chopra
We live in an age where diseases that once killed us, or crippled us for life, now live in the history section of medical textbooks. Over time, we have become a great people and the numerous innovations and developments in modern medicine is one we should always celebrate - a true testament to the human genius in all of us.

And yet, every day there is news of war and conflict. It may warfare between people of different values and morals, to the mental conflict that might exist in the mind of a single individual which could lead him or her to commit horrible crimes. Regardless of the source, humans are far from healthy than we might believe.

While good health is typically attributed to being free of disease, in my opinion it is more than physical healthiness. Good health delves deeper than the skin, the flesh and the bone. It also lies in the mind, soul and spirit.

Kurt Vonnegut once said: "We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane". Here Vonnegut suggests a similar belief to my own. We cannot expect to be truly healthy, if our minds are plagued with thoughts of evil, such as greed or revenge.

Likewise, we cannot live a healthy life if our minds are not in sync with the present - that we might regret over past events or worry for the future yet to come. Fear, as Yoda once said, leads to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering.

As a person who is heavily involved in the betterment of people's health in the community, I believe it is paramount that I of all people should promote good health considering all facets of the human condition, and not solely the supply of medication.

The human being is a complicated, multidimensional creature and every one of them has different hopes, dreams and goals. While no one desires for illness, we also wish for our own prosperity and happiness. We are all human, one kind.

Steve Job once said in a speech: "No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there". Maybe if we can overcome the hurdles within the human condition such as greed, jealousy and hate that divide us, we can find the positive attributes that will help us work together and build a better future for the generations to come.

If there is ever a meaning of life, perhaps it is this.