America... What comes to mind when you hear that glamorous name? Freedom, liberty, justice...? Look closer, though. Look at the schools, the average American child at age thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen. Do they appreciate music, art, and or literature? Not many of them do. I realize that I am a very lucky child, and visit France and Germany frequently. When I analyze the difference in countries, I realize one thing: kids in Europe have a cultured mind. By the age of thirteen, kids in France and Germany already speak English and or Spanish, while most American student are just learning a language in 9th grade. That is not something to be proud of. To me, not taking time to teach kids to speak a foreign language by the age of thirteen is subtly arrogant to other countries. It's almost as if saying, "I"m American, and I expect everyone else in the world to speak my language and understand me". I can see where it costs money to teach languages, but it's culture. It's important. It's life. Very few kids my age appreciate classical music. Many don't play an instrument. It's sad, because classic music is euphonious and beautiful. Music notes is the same in every country. If you put two people in a room together who speak different languages, you can play music, and they both understand it. Classic music, to me, is life. You can express anger, love, passion, joy, sadness, through a single note. Playing an instrument is part of education to me. I can't imagine not playing my piano or violin. Music is more important than people think. Music can provide appreciation to the world. Art is important to ones life. It brings color and stories into the world. Art is versatile. It can relieve pain and aggravation. It's a masterpiece, the word alone. Go into an art gallery, look at the paintings. What do you see? Feelings, phases, words. You can tell a life's story by painting or drawing. You can see when people feel melancholic, happy, confused, hurt, by the way the artist uses shapes and color. What you can never have enough of is literature. Not books inane, callow like The Clique, Gossip Girl, Privileged.... But literature, as in Lord of the Flies, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Odyssey, The Count of Monte Cristo, War and Peace, Anna Korean, The Three Musketeers, The Red Violin, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.... Books that give life and meaning, that can change one's life, books that inspire. By reading, you grow opinions on the world, and can form a deeper mind. As I say, "too shallow for my deep mind". Schools need to teach languages, art, music, literature. Not just because, but it's important. Knowing how to speak with foreigner is important. Appreciating music and art is important. Literature is important. Average America seems to be missing this, and it's hurtful to me. If you look back at great writers, artists and musicians, they come from Europe, Asia, Russia. Why? Maybe it's because they consider it important? Or maybe it's because they are more educated? As the world modernizes, countries haven't lost love for language, art, music and literature. Only the average America.
What's With The Average American Today?
August 4, 2009