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Monday, February 1, 2010

Empathy And The Artist

In order to really connect with our listeners/viewers (I'm talking to the artists/musicians/writers/actors) we have to know what people feel, and how they experience what motivates, inspires, saddens, and brings joy to their lives. The wider the range of feelings (and types of people) we can understand (and not just intellectually), the greater is the range and depth of empathy we can put into our craft. How does one develop empathy? All too often it is through suffering. One has only to look at the lives of some of the great artists (musicians/artists) to see what is being said here. Examples such as Beethoven who went totally deaf and was unable to hear one of his greatest masterpieces, and Chopin who's ill health prevented him from fully enjoying life, and Van Gogh who's inability to handle the subtleties of life drove him to severe imbalances, and the list goes on...countless artists (generic) who were in a way learning to develop compassion through their suffering, and to put it into their craft in order to transform their own experiences and at the same time reach out to others - perhaps unknowingly - who might need the benefit of the music/art that was created thereby.

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