“I am very concerned with the fact that so many people turn off because it is easier;
that they don’t stay fully aware during the course of their lives, in all the choices they make:social, economic, political, aesthetic. They turn off because it is easier.
But I find that anything less than
absolutely full, dangerous participation
is an absolute waste of some rather valuable time.”
~ Edward Albee
What does it mean to be free?
Does it mean that we are not bound by anyone or anything? Or is it something internal?
In Western cultures, we take this idea of freedom for granted. We complain about the NSA looking at our information in the same breath as we willingly spill out our thoughts on Facebook. We look at civil unrest in Egypt and say, “how awful,” and go back to the mundane “quiet desperation” that Thoreau described over 150 years ago.
Are we really willing to continue on this way and die with our songs still inside of us?
It’s time to create a world we are proud to inhabit.
This change doesn’t start in boardrooms. It can’t start in the political arena. It starts on the page. It starts on the canvas. It starts on the stage, the dance floor and in the studio. When we make art from that raw place inside that says, “this is what it means to be alive,” we begin to crack open the world and make a change.
Edward Albee talked about artists as a sort of a form of demonic social critic, holding up the mirror to society to instigate change. We shy away from this. We want to feel comfortable. We want to stay where things feel safe and warm—even if it means we aren’t free.
It’s time to be uncomfortable, to push our boundaries now, instead of waiting until we have it all figured out. (I’m 99% sure we’ll never have it all figured out.)
We cannot wait for the right time. We need to start now:
~ Kate Bartolotta, July 4th, 2013
Kate Bartolotta is the owner and editor-in-chief of Be You Media Group. Her book, Heart Medicine, is available on Amazon.com. She also writes for The Huffington Post, elephant journal and The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, Yoganonymous, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. She facilitates writing workshops and retreats throughout North America. Connect with Kate on Twitter, Facebook and Google +.