Inside every raging young person…

Posted on December 18, 2012. Filed under: Art, Poems |

…is a brilliant, injured misfit who is screaming for validation, love, acceptance, attention, etc. Whether the cause is chemical, emotional, parenting, trauma or something else, it is a challenge to determine whose rage will cause them to cross the line with violence or funnel their anger into an acceptable outlet that disperses it.

Many times, such as on Friday, we have seen the results of their pent-up rage. In those times, I wonder if the power of art, any artistic pursuit, might have saved him. Saved all of them. I’ve seen it happen so many times, I know it can. A kid who discovers the power of self-expression, and shares it with a community of others who usually aren’t great at sports, can transcend whatever ugliness brews inside.

I’ve lobbied before for more respect for the power of creativity to transcend. I guess it’s part of my “religion.” And, a friend, Michael Salinger recently wrote, “If I hear one more person say that people shouldn’t be pushing an agenda on the backs of this tragedy I will literally scream. THE AGENDA IS BECAUSE OF THESE TRAGEDIES.” Ditto for me.

So, while the politicians argue over gun control and mental health providers scramble to serve with limited budgets, make sure kids have paper, paints, musical instruments, journals, pens or any other artistic outlet of their choice. Encourage them to express themselves; to put words, images or sounds to the pain inside. Help make it normal to do this; not weird and freakish. Encourage them to imagine the world they want through their art, not a gun barrel.


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    A writer and cancer survivor chronicles her renewed dedication to art and words..


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