Liberal Art

November 16, 2019

It's interesting they call it the "liberal arts".  I find I'm a bit of an anomaly in the art world.  There are two things that typically turn people in to bleeding-heart liberals - the arts and institutes of higher education.

Having worked in both education and the arts, I have some theories as to why that is.  For the arts, I believe a lot of artists think they are alone and nobody understands them.  They don't want to be 'judged' for their work.

While you can't negate someone's feelings, let's face the facts - feelings are not always based in reality.  (If they were, there wouldn't be much of a need for people in the mental health industry.)

There's also a degree of compassion among artists.  Misdirected, that compassion can lead to becoming enablers.  (I think that's why so many artists surround themselves with dysfunction people like addicts.)

Again, I think I'm a bit of an anomaly.  I'm conservative in my moral views.  And, while I consider myself compassionate, I don't like to enable people with addictions or character flaws.

In the world of higher education, I've noticed a degree of arrogance that accompanies those involved in the professorial realm.  Arrogance often leads to rationalization of one's moral flaws.  Again, I was a bit of an anomaly when I taught college.

I have moral flaws.  They are things I'm working on correcting.  As a Book of Mormon prophet, Nephi, wrote, "O, wretched man that I am."  It would have been easy to say, "This is the way I am.  I was born this way," than try to correct those flaws he saw in himself.  But, again, Nephi too was an anomaly who had to constantly deal with two liberal brothers.  I often feel like Nephi, "O, wretched man that I am."

Part of why I feel like I'm an anomaly is I don't try to make excuses for my fellow artists who, for lack of a better description, are social deviates.  In fact, there's a website for artists that uses that word to identify it's community.  When I stumble upon some of their art, I just say to myself, "That's morally wrong."  

I'm sure those artists probably say, "You don't understand me."

Perhaps I don't.  

Does that matter?  

I understand the result.  That matters, and what matters more is I don't let it change who I am.

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