I haven’t done much in terms of art in the past few weeks. I’ve done little things here and there. But overall, there isn’t much to show for it.
Does that mean I am “no Artist”, or that I am somehow lesser than those who do more? Would I be “better” if more people saw and approved of my work? Or, to put it in philosopher’s terms:
“If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody hears it, does it make a sound?”
At first, this question by George Berkeley seems silly, but if you think about it, it actually raises deeper questions about perception and about the way we value things: What meaning does something have if nobody sees it? What worth does a work of art have if nobody values or appreciates it? What are you when nobody likes your newest profile picture on Instagram? Who are you apart from other people’s opinion?
Don’t get me wrong, I wish I had more time to do more creative projects. I consciously make time for that sort of thing and I greatly appreciate the positive feedback. But as much as I love to get creative and get compliments for it, I know that that’s not who I am. Those things are things I do.
And for me, my value in life can’t come from stuff I do, because those things are not lasting. (e.g. I could get sick and lose my abilities, I could move away and lose contact with friends, etc.).
There are many attempts to deal with this, whatever values a person might have. But for me, the one things that remains is Jesus Christ and the assurance that I am part of God’s family because of what Jesus did for me. This basic assurance gives me the “power” to just “be” without having to prove myself to anyone. Because no matter what: God is.