You are already an activist, you’re just too scared to hit the streets.
You are already an artist, you’re just too scared to pick up a brush.
You are already a singer, you’re just too scared to pick up the mic.
You are already a writer, you’re just too scared to hit publish.
You are already a philosopher, you’re just too scared to have someone disagree with you.
The only thing that’s in your way is the bridge between the formless (thoughts, feelings, emotions) and the form (words, actions, movement).
Crossing that bridge means being willing to not please everyone. It means embracing the fact that when you come out as who you are some people won’t like it. Some people will mock you, put you down and make you feel small. Those people are called trolls.
The good news is when you see the trolls under the bridge it means you’ve ventured out beyond your village, and that’s where things get exciting.
The further away from the village you go, the nastier and more numerous the trolls become. Yet on your journey you also meet travelers. Travelers are people just like you who have left their village, and you find solidarity among them. Travelers tell you that meeting nasty trolls is just a sign you’re on the right track.
You team up with these travelers and go to new and far-off lands together. You stop missing the comfort of your village and start to prefer the adventure of exploring new territories.
You now run into trolls but are no longer afraid of them. You even start to notice that some of them are just like you. They are using their voice, speaking up for what they believe and doing their best to express who they are in the face of opposition. You imagine you would be nasty too if you had to live under a bridge.
Then one day you return home to your village, and find that a war has begun. The people of your village have decided to go to war against the trolls, because they say that no one is safe unless they do.
They want to eradicate the trolls so the children can be safe and so people can express themselves without the fear of confrontation.
You remember feeling that way too, before you left the village.
Now you understand that without trolls, art wouldn’t be as satisfying. The aliveness you felt on your journey didn’t come from the harmony of everyone agreeing with you, it came from the courage it took to show yourself to the world, even if they disapproved. Especially if they disapproved.
Yet this is what we do.
We are shackled by the concerns of others.
Boxed in by the need to be liked.
Quieted by the fear that if we really said what we thought, if we really got out and marched in the streets, if we really published that article, someone would disagree with us, until we realize that was the whole point.
Art is disagreement.