The Reluctant Activist / 12

Another week went by, and I didn’t save the world. I didn’t really do anything to do so, either. Mostly what I did was run around, dance, and see some friends. Did I make the world better as I did so? Something to chew on.

A week or two ago, I had a brief chat online with someone who works with the International Olympic Academy in Greece. The academy is dedicated to furthering the spirit of olympism (sports, sharing, cooperation, fair play) beyond the games themselves. My contact runs the arts programs at the IOA, and I asked her, what does peacebuilding through the arts look like?

It’s not something I know much about, but something I’d like to learn about. I’m not sure what I was thinking — all I’d really heard of was those big fundraising concerts the big stars do sometimes, for popular causes.

Her answer was pretty simple, though. It simply had to do with collaboration, co-creation, and learning creative problem solving. The workshops, she said, were designed to challenge people to step out of their comfort zones, but in doing so, building creative thinking and positive attitudes.

I remember thinking, is that it?

It sounds so simple, but perhaps it’s not. Collaboration. Creative thinking. Problem solving. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. These are the foundations, and everything else builds from that.

I also think it makes sense to build these skills through the arts, which is one of the few mediums that is “neutral” (non-political) but can speak universally. In this perspective, peacebuilding through the arts is much more than a concert and raising money to send to a faraway place.

I guess the question is now, how can I foster collaboration, creative thinking, and problem solving this week? Is that it, is that enough? Is that activism?

What do you think about this? If you have any thoughts on the many questions here, leave your comments and thoughts below, and don’t forget to recommend and share if you enjoyed.

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