People have strong opinions about art. They will often draw a line in the sand concerning what they feel is art or what they may consider to be good art. Though I do enjoy a good debate every once and awhile, I do not believe it is my place to “defend” my perspective on art/good art. I do feel it is my place to “educate” others when the opportunity arises (in a non-condescending manner). I come from a place of exposure, in depth study, and diverse training from a multitude of instructors from multiple perspectives. This is not to say that my thoughts on art are “better”, but it is informed differently than most. When others express their opinions, they are sharing out of their experience, understanding, and perspective. There is great value in this. As an “art person”, I should listen, ask questions, and encourage others to think about/process/unpack their opinions/beliefs about art. If I remain open to what others are saying…they may remain open to learning, growing, and experiencing art. If I am closed off or try to shut them down, they will be less likely to open themselves up again. Plus..I can learn something new along the way!!
Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of every opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
Being open does not mean compromising your beliefs. Being grace filled does not mean you are allowing others to walk all over you. In Colossians 4:5-6, we see a statement to believers about their actions and interactions towards others. We are not called to be confrontational and demeaning. We are not called to be finger pointing zealots. We are not called to be callous spewers of religiosity. NO! We are called to be wise, grace filled, and conscientious to the individual. This means we must be open to share our own story. We must be open to hearing their story (without judgement or condemnation). We must be open to give and speak the grace that has been given to us. Our actions, attitudes, and words need to reflect that life and love. God is all about relationships. We should be about relationships. We need to listen more. Ask questions without expectations. Encourage others to think, process, and unpack their own journeys. If we live life this way…it will be amazing to see how God might use us when we’re open.