Art, in its many forms, can touch us deeply in the most beautiful of ways, or leave us scarred and ashamed.
Reminders of human atrocities are scattered throughout History side by side with acts of courage and kindness.
Whole countries lay down to sleep every night with the memories of war and its consequences. Some have been defined by those wars in the minds of all other peoples, replacing an entire history with just the one period of time.
Artists, whether through painting, music, film and other mediums, attempt to imprint the feeling of these moments in time through their respective art forms.
To draw the suffering of a Vietnam war veteran onto paper, showing his pain through the weary lines of his face and sadness tinged eyes.
To encompass the anguish of a Mother who lost her child to starvation during the war in song and dance.
To force viewers to truly see and work through the emotions of a terrible situation through a documentary or biography.
Art can help us to understand these terrible moments, so that we can develop our empathy and stretch ourselves out, expanding our perspective.
In that understanding comes the ability to see the world for what it truly is, a harsh, unforgiving place, but also one of breathtaking beauty.
Appreciating the little moments of compassion and joy comes only after seeing how bad things can be. I for one am glad to have had the relative boredom of my life, especially after seeing the pain that many people around the world have had to endure.
And I am thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow from the experiences others have been kind enough to share with me, and I hope I can use this knowledge to further my own art.
I hope you all have this opportunity as well in your lives, so keep your eyes and ears open, because these stories, this art, is everywhere.