On Following Your Heart and Not Your Education System

This comic and blog post on zenpencils.com started out on the On My Radar post for Week 3. However, as I started talking about it, I found a bit of passion that I hadn’t been able to express in writing, and it became a bit long for an On My Radar post. So, I decided to give the topic it’s very own post.

Our education system (especially in the US) seems to stamp out all things that are creative, especially dance. I spent thirteen years of my life dancing in the evenings after school. I learned how to work with a team, work on my own, a bit of French, and an appreciation for the art. I learned that the more work you put into something, the more you see and are satisfied with your results (aka, dance taught me work ethic).

That's me on the high school dance team!
That’s me!

I was able to keep active and healthy, especially in a time where kids never went outside to play. I gained the confidence to go on stage in front of thousands of people. I learned memorization skills, and I have more of an awareness of my body in space (I think dance improved my spacial development as a child).

However, none of that seems to matter to those in charge of the educational system. We are discouraged from doing things such as drama and dance in favor of more “practical” things. We are told that we won’t ever get a job doing something in the arts, so why even try? Well, there are about seven billion people on this earth. Does every single one of them have to fit into a box of careers?

Surely not everyone can or should be in the same career fields. With so many people (and many of which are quite content with sticking to the “traditional” careers), I think we should encourage more people to follow their dreams in the arts. I’ve seen so many people have fulfilling lives and careers in dance and drama that I can’t imagine them doing anything else.

With so many people who all have their own thoughts, wants, and dreams, why do we try to fit them into a box? Why extinguish creativity? Why not let them decide what they want to pursue? After all, we all should choose what to do with our lives, not let someone else dictate it.

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