Exploring colours and a book
I bought a little book as a gift, but I read it as I was finishing this painting. The title is Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination and it contains a speech JK Rowling gave at a graduation event.
On empathy she says: “Now you might think that I chose my second theme, the importance of imagination, because of the part it played in rebuilding my life, but that is not wholly so. Though I personally will defend the value of bedtime stories to my last gasp, I have learned to value imagination in a much broader sense. Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared…………… Unlike any other creature on this planet, human beings can learn and understand without having experienced. They can think themselves into other peoples’ places. Of course, this is a power like my brand of fictional magic that is morally neutral. One might use such a power to manipulate or control, just as much as to understand or sympathize. And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or peer inside cages. They can close their hearts and minds to any suffering that does not touch them personally. They can refuse to know. I might be tempted to envy people who can live that way, except that I do not think that they have any fewer nightmares than I do…….… Choosing to live in narrow spaces leads to a form of mental agoraphobia, and that brings its own terrors. I think the willfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid. What is more, those who choose not to empathize enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it through our own apathy.”