The expense of frustration
By Merlijn Twaalfhoven on January 11, 2012
Our economy is in recession. Analysts talk about pessimist markets or measures that might inspire the financial world to recover. Politicians pump public money in the black holes that banks appear to have created.
Man is an emotional creature. Society reacts unpredictable on these measures – the future is undisclosed.
It is proven that people make decisions by intuition when taking big risks. I myself wonder sometimes why I decided so easily to climb mount Ararat once, or to buy a derelict house.
We learn to deal with rationality. In school, by reading books and listening to others. But how to deal with emotions? Is there a school for intuition other than just experimenting – trial and error?
Yes, there is a method to teach about irrationality. There is a vocabulary of the unspecific and the ambiguous. It’s called art.
Art is more than entertainment for the upper class. Art is a vehicle for refined emotions. A language for things that can’t be expressed by words. If that language is poor and underdeveloped, then society won’t be able to deal with complex emotions. It will know fear, happiness, anger and a few more other sentiments. But the richness of meaningful inter human relationships depends on much more. The ability to deal with uncertainties, subtle frustration or slight optimism depends on a developed vocabulary of expression. Art can train you to understand the intangible realities that influence our life.
Art therefore is more than a free haven for eccentrics, more than a snobbish luxury product for intellectuals. More than the skillful perfection (often called ‘quality’), which leads a secluded life in its sterile laboratories (such as concert halls, theaters and museums). It also has more economic value than being a stimulus for creative industries, such as media, internet, advertising and design. It protects more than history and cultural heritage.
It is a way to deepen discussion, to add commentary, to spread seduction and surprise in society. It creates openness. It helps to materialize intuition and gut feeling – canalizing irrationality and articulating subtle frustrations or joy.
Art helps you not to jump to conclusions immediately, it avoids black-and-white thinking, slows down your tendency to judge someone or something. It stimulates to be sensitive, curious and eager – features which don’t just appear out of the blue, skills which can be learned and developed just as much as rational knowledge. Curiosity is always optimistic. It is crucial to bring change.
Actually, there’s not much wrong with the life we live. Even in times of crisis, the most of us stay wealthy, live in safety and have enough to have a good time. Still our society is full of irrational fears and it panics on unpredictable moments.
Economists foresee how optimism, trust and hope can bring our economy back on track.
And as they consider to support the banks once again, politicians cut away the measures that used to stimulate the development of innovative arts.
Very intuitive indeed.