A World Without The Arts

Try to imagine if you will, a world without art. No music, no theater, no books to read other than those that teach you math and science. Your walls are blank; nothing hangs in your home to stimulate your visual senses other than possibly a clock to tell time or a certificate saying you’re accomplished at some task. Every building looks the same, made from the same mold, as architecture is mainly for function, form has no consideration. Every car looks the same; every piece of clothing, utilitarian. The world lacks imagination, for creativity has been starved out of existence.

I for one, find this imagining an unpleasant task to accomplish. The thought is so repulsive that my imagination rebels and I find myself not wanting to venture down that path. For weeks now, I’ve been trying to write a fictional story on just this topic, but the words will not form. In the telling of this story, I wanted people to discover just how important the Arts are to humanity. Every day, we take for granted the creative stimulus that helps us become more interesting, more inventive, more diverse people and yet every day, we lose the very incentive that nurtures our creativity. It’s the first thing that’s cut in school programs when the budgets are overtaxed. Art, music, theater; they are expendable, those in power say. But are they?

How inventive would this world be without creativity? To quote Albert Einstein, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”  But where would imagination be without the creative forces that stimulate it? Would it wither and die, leaving us a world so drab and boring that nothing would inspire us to create? Would we only be able to duplicate that which is already seen, instead of generating new ideas and inventions, steering us toward an uncharted path?

Art and science have a symbiotic relationship, as does music and math. They teach the same disciplines, ask the same questions, and trigger a curiosity that drives us to learn more.  Some would argue that the Arts aren’t essential to learning and that they can be initiated at a cost to the individual, but I can’t help but wonder how many Picassos, or Mozarts, or Einsteins the world would be without, because there was no funding to accommodate their talent. Would there even be a little Steve Jobs, holding up his cassette player amidst a crowd of hungry music lovers and saying, “Please, Sir, I want more.”  

Just where would we be as a society without the benefits of creativity and imagination that the Arts inspire? I would agree with Carl Sagan, an American astronomer and astrophysicist, who profoundly said, “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere.