This post is about art in general, but more of a pressure valve type of article. Hopefully I can tie it all up neatly in the end. The thing is our country has a way of making me optimistic, confused, hopeful and despair all at once. I know that I am not alone on this. From what I can see online on blogs, comments and news items there is a huge well of potential in South Africa. An energy that is going to make this country truly awesome.
Looking at the world we have seen EU economies shaking up the financial world. Cyprus of all places sneezed last week and the markets caught a cold. Crazy! It is also so very banal. Where is the excitement among the youth, the sense of forging new paths? Certainly not in Old World Europe where disillusionment seems to be at an all time high. South Africa has all the excitement and potential for making something new. We have to stop waiting for permission and approval.
We also need to forget about waiting for leadership. Find a mentor rather and learn from someone who has passion for his or her craft whatever that may be. People need jobs - sure, but more importantly people need a passion for something. Maybe if passion is the yardstick then the jobs take care of themselves. Self-employment suddenly seems viable.
Pursuing your own destiny is now the new watchword, but this does not mean you can remain in isolation either. Connect and share. Give freely where reasonable. Expect nothing in return and you will still receive. Use the new tools, think creatively and do the work. Provided these elements are met we all stand a good chance of doing something meaningful. We may have to moonlight at first, but passion will win the day in the end. Want to learn to program? Take a free university course online. Yes I said free.
I am seeing many young creative folk successfully taking on the world let alone their local market. The entertainment world, arts and business are all well represented with new stars. You will probably find their art on You Tube or some other social network being given away. They are patient and determined, but not too attached to the outcome. As a result they are making it big. These young lions are not waiting for government to solve their problems. They do not believe in corporate ladders or pensions either. Many more will start to follow the examples of their peers.
The older generations? Grey wolves are going back to work on their passion businesses. Selling crafts on Etsy. Connecting online and giving workshops or learning new skills. It seems mowing the lawn and collecting a pension is not the dream anymore. Shame on the 20th century for selling that idea!
The point I guess comes down to what you do with your time on this little blue planet. Did you think that you could never paint? Had no talent for the guitar? Want to learn to run a business, but cannot pay for lessons? No problem. You can do all these things now and share your passion with others who are waiting for you to start.
That makes me optimistic.