Having a Purpose
Without a purpose you're lost, whether as an artist or anyone. If you had a ship, no matter how well equipped or fancy it was, if you didn't know why it was sailing, it would wander aimlessly in a sea of unrewarding confusion. In the daily challenge of getting through this thing we call life, it helps to have a purpose. When you have one all of the difficulties, the obstacles, the rude comment, the traffic, all dissipate and vanish. Every day I try to remind myself of why I'm doing what I'm doing. I look at the world and compare it to what I'd like it to look like and then get to work making that ideal scene happen. Why do this? Because the alternative is a life filled with ill feelings and frustration. Also, and most importantly because it feels good creating something that wasn't there before.
I like to think every day, each moment I have a blank canvas on which to paint. If I make a mistake which I often do, it's okay because that canvas is limitless and comes with a big eraser. My purpose is to leave something on that canvas that wasn't there before and that helps make the world into something better, helping as many people as possible. When I paint, create, write, make music, whatever, I think about my purpose and never let it leave if I can help it. It sometimes does but I recognize those times easily because it's in those times I am not quite me, not really happy with my activity and reach out once again for my purpose to get me back on track.
I've been guilty of listening to others' opinions or accepting false information as truth and wandered off my purpose line. I know how easy it is to get lost in a world filled with so many contradictory viewpoints and spectacles. However, I have learned that if there was one thing worthy of years of your time, energy and effort, it is finding and knowing your purpose so know one and nothing could ever cause you to even make you look away from it. The truly great human beings we have all immortalized knew what they were doing and why. They kept their eyes on the prize and never gave up. I may have lost a few battles but I like to think I never sold out my purpose of helping make this world better, stronger and more able. It has taken different shapes and forms but the purpose has always been there. Whether it was carrying a stack of books from the library as a kid or sitting in a Congressional hearing or recording controversial lyrics or picking up a paintbrush, I have known my purpose was there. When you see me reading a comic book, don't see a grown man indulging in a childish or immature activity, see a man studying new universes created by artists where human beings are powerful and see me searching for ways to use the story to inject it into ours.
Hundreds of years ago there were no iPods, CDs, DVDs, computers, telephones, telegraphs, airplanes, radios or automobiles. There was no Harry Potter, no Superman, no Sherlock Holmes, no Robin Hood. My point is that the world constantly changes because courageous artists, creators and individuals are out there every day working to put a future out in front of mankind and they all have a purpose that motivates them to get us there. Take time today and examine what your purpose is. If you can't pinpoint it right away, don't worry, keep at it until you can. It's worth doing because you decide what tomorrow will look like. It's best to have a plan going into it and to know why you're going there in the first place.
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I'm David Carus. From overcoming one of the most dangerous cities in the country and graduating from one of the most prestigious colleges in America to leading an educational movement as a teacher and running for Congress at the age of 25, I decided the best hope our world has is through art.