“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso. Discuss.
I felt very much inspired when I looked up this year’s Nuha topics and my eyes fell on Picasso’s quote. I have always believed that children are artists. They have that magic spark in them, whereas adults are polluted by worldly matters and lose that great gift God gave them.
On one hand, it is hardly surprising that adults forget how to be an artist because as they grow up they take on the responsibilities of life. Life becomes a survival matter by working to be able to survive. Adults then also have to take on the responsibility of other people like their own children or their parents. Unlike children, they are neither free of responsibility nor spared from worry. Little children have time to develop their imagination and creativity. They are looked after by their parents, they don’t need to pay bills, they don’t worry about cooking meals, doing the shopping, going to work. Children are free of the worry of survival. This is especially true in the West where countries are relatively developed or very developed and where incomes are higher than in the developing world. At first, when they are small, this is how it appears but when these children grow up they succumb to the pressure of school, the pressure of their peers, and slowly but surely the pressures of life seem to submerge them as the years go by.
Children in developing countries or war torn countries often don’t even have the time to be a child or an artist. Sometimes, these children end up working from a very young age particularly in countries where war is omnipresent. Survival takes on another dimension: the one of staying alive! These infants are faced with early bereavement, they are often orphans, and bombs are so frequent that the sound and sight of them doesn’t even surprise anyone anymore. Furthermore, these children are injured and can’t even dream of a future or education. It’s like a hope or wish blown away further and further every second.
Unfortunately, one can’t stop these wars because people don’t have the courage to say: “Think for one moment about the present lives and future of these toddlers, children and teenagers. Stop thinking of power and your ego and start making amends for your mess and realize all the generations you have lost because of these conflicts!” It seems that those in power are only worried about themselves. A few human beings have shone out like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela or today Malala and have made a difference. In their way, they have been artists in helping mankind through their compassion for others. An artist is one who is able to imagine a world beyond this world to create beauty in our lives. Some paint pictures, some write books, some are architects or landscapers, and others make a better world.
Children all over the world can nurture that artistic streak in them and maintain it when they become adults. Music, art, literature, but also compassion, empathy, and love for our world are the keys of becoming, being and remaining an artist once we grow up. I believe that one needs to take the time and have the will power to remain an artist. Time is human’s enemy but the human has to force himself to win over Time to become the person they want to be and to remain an artist.
“We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” Nelson Mandela