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The Power of Art

Art – visual and verbal – mixed in a creative brew of motion and emotion has the power to sear feelings, add wings to messages and transform lives. It can start to heal open wounds, flay whips and send ripples across complacent waters. Want to see a fresh example for yourself? Watch this video about bullying by Shane Koyzan, a spoken word poet.

It just might revise your idea of poetry as well. 🙂

Has the power of art ever affected you? There has to be a reason why so many motivational (and de-motivational!) posters are sold. We can relate to others and enjoy the way a concept is presented to us.

Myself, I had changed schools twelve times in six towns and two States by the time I graduated high school and I don’t think I ever saw the kind of bullying described here – thank God – nor the hateful torments that make headlines in our newspapers today. When I moved from one side of the Mason-Dixie line to the other as a thirteen-year-old, the culture difference was black and white. In more ways than one. My accent, interrupting the class in the middle of the school year, was discordant in a town centered around the battlefield of a bloody Civil War fight. The kids there weren’t interested in being friendly with an outsider.

In the cafeteria, I sent messages with my eyes that more than balanced the discomfort level. Previously, a tongue as sharp as a scalpel had been my weapon. Isn’t it funny how we arm ourselves in one way or another?

But, lucky me.

Our neighborhood was a border one, so we had the choice of my mom driving us to the snotty school in town or taking a bus to a friendly school up in the hills. It sounds so stereotypical, doesn’t it? My experience regarding kids who were different in some way was more that they were ignored. I never saw anyone beaten up for their lunch money or overtly made fun of for their appearance. That was decades ago and maybe I was oblivious. Or I’ve forgotten. Maybe lucky. Maybe I never stayed around long enough to see what was really going on.

But I think things have changed for the worse. I can’t imagine the trouble I would have gotten in at home if I had bullied someone.

I see plenty of rudeness and just plain meanness in online forums. Just reading the comment section after a newspaper article can make me shake my head in disbelief.

Hurtful words and actions can do more damage than sticks and stones, of course.

Leo Buscaglia, a writer and professor wrote about the reverse to meanness.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

There’s an art to spreading lasting kindness, too. Do you want to see a caring person?

Go, look in the mirror!

You wouldn’t be still reading if you weren’t a sensitive person.

Now, go use your power of art to spread kindness in the world. 🙂

Leave a comment and tell us what you’ve done, if you want.

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