Um belo artigo de 2017, de uma fonte estranha : World Economic Forum
Destaco uma pequena parte. A foto não é da mesma fonte, mas daqui.
Everybody raise their handSilence, it is said, implies complicity. But that’s only half the story. Silence also confirms oppression, because the ability to speak out is too often a luxury of the privileged.
The aggressive populism we see today seems to be a testament to people refusing to be silent - and rightly so. Our societies have largely failed to provide equally for all, and technology now gives us new avenues through which to be heard, and with which to rebel against repressive ideas and structures. New leaders have latched onto that and now seek to speak for us, even though many of them are rallying us crudely around fear and mistrust.
But there is hope where there is life, even such as it is now. Because it reveals potential. This is where, counterintuitively, literature and creative writing come in.
In 1969, Lee Kuan Yew, the president of Singapore, famously said: “Poetry is a luxury we cannot afford. What is important for pupils is not literature, but a philosophy for life.” In this, the founding father of that impressive small nation was wrong. A philosophy for life is precisely what literature teaches us.
You need only open a book, from oldest scripture to contemporary novels. Moses refused to be enslaved, Odysseus spoke truth to power, Atticus Finch did not compromise justice, and Hermione Granger showed us how things are done. Plato imagined a just nation, Thomas Paine proved the importance of universal human rights, and John Stuart Mill empowered the individual and revealed the necessity of freedom of expression.
It’s all there on paper and in the ether. The self and society, tragedy and triumph, right and wrong, values and ideals - Lee Kuan Yew’s philosophies for life are easily accessible through bookshops, libraries, and the internet.
Yet while it’s conventional that wisdom exists in literature, creative writing has always been seen as more rarefied or intimidating. It has been celebrated as personally palliative, yes, but it’s never been considered a method to increase participation in society. After all, what good is composing poetry and writing stories when you need a job, or a nation must be founded, or a war has to be won, or cancer is ravaging the bodies both human and politic?
But creative writing can be anyone’s best training for speaking out - and if you’ve ever read novels, heard scripture, watched movies or TV, listened to songs, or learned folklore, then you’ve been studying your entire life how storytelling works. By applying your hand at creating it, you are not just attempting art, you are learning vital skills and life lessons.
Fiction teaches us about characters and empathy, plot and consequences, and the value of nuance to truth. Poetry teaches us how to distil language, value silence, and understand metaphor. Non-fiction (which certainly includes journalism) teaches us accountability to facts, critical thinking about the systems in society, and the importance of getting out into the world to listen to others. These are but a few of the skills one learns from writing creatively.
Are those life lessons not vital to democracy? To have a voice is to have a vote. To have a vote is to be represented in society. To represent ourselves clearly and confidently empowers us citizens to air our own concerns and our community’s grievances, to be accountable for ourselves, and to demand the accountability of our leaders. If we are not trained to articulate our arguments properly, we will never be heard legitimately, and we can be ignored too conveniently.
EWN - Eyewitness News — Here’s why art and literature are vital to democracy