So far in our history, we were primarily concerned with our physical survival. We built cultures, customs, and systems to maximize the chances of our collective survival.
And in the last few decades, some developed countries started achieving that. Our physical survival are not our primary concern for the vast majority of the members of those societies.
But in the process we built patterns that so prioritized our collective physical survival, that it neglects our other needs. Assembly line is one such example. It’s a system for efficiency, and efficiency leads to efficacy and efficacy leads to more people surviving. But it treats humans like cogs in a big machine. People started specializing on a narrow range of repetitive things that they do, to maximize the chance of being in demand in the industrialized societies. This is true of white collar work, too.
Turns out it’s not enough to just feed the body. We need to feed our mind.
Sure, our bodies are fed, but when our mind gets sick, we stop living. When people lose the will to live, we can kill ourselves even when our bodies are relatively healthy.
Arts and creativity are critical for many of us for that reason. Nature gave us that to maximize our chances of survival, but in some places we built patterns that not only not require it, but downright discourage and suppress them. Yes, we do need jobs and income to survive, but if the job is such poor fit that it taxed our minds too much, we still don’t survive.
I believe it’s a sign of the society’s advancement to have arts be a valid and established industry. I am of the independent music industry. I have instruments to play, write, record, and employ services like DistroKid to distribute my music. I know that these kinds of resources aren’t as readily available in other societies. I am very grateful, I humbly use them to feed my mind. Even if my creations don’t happen to amount to much, people around me see me do what I do and that will remind them that they, too, scan create. Get back in touch with the part of their humanity that they may have lost touch.
That’s how we artists contribute to our societies. Let us be grateful and get to work.