Have you ever been part of a huge crowd of thousands, singing in unison to a song you all love? It is a song close to your heart, and you know the lyrics word-for-word. So does everyone around you. You feel your heart beating in time with the fellow human beings in front, behind and beside you.
The experience is enough to move one to tears, and instinctively, you are aware of being part of something much larger than yourself––a fleeting instance of solidarity in the recognition that you are not alone in feeling and being human.
I am Renee, the new editorial assistant intern at Ethos Books, and for me, the arts’ capacity to reflect and celebrate the human condition is what draws me back to them time and again. Art, be it film, theatre, music, dance or literature, creates avenues for shared emotional experiences, and it is these moments that make me happy and grateful to be a living, breathing person.
It takes great courage to be an artist who constructs such experiences for their audience. To create an opportunity for individuals to connect with each other, as they laugh and cry over the same book, film, or song, the artist must first peel back the layers of themself and lay them out carefully for the world’s perusal. They need to take the first step in sharing their inner world, to create a space where others would resonate with them, and then do the same.
As an artist myself, I can attest that it is terrifying, yet incredibly liberating and rewarding, to be vulnerable through the act of self-expression. Isn’t it funny to know that experiences like private moments of emotional turmoil and struggles with insecurities are universal, and yet be so afraid to reveal them for fear of judgment? When we do, however, we are comforted to know that so many others have experienced something similar, and we are not alone.
If you ever have something to tell the world, I hope this encourages you to be vulnerable––we are all human, after all.