By Michael Wong
Growing up as an Asian American teenager, the expectations of society are always shadowing me. There are always four major pillars which society expects us Asian American adolescents to follow and pursue rigorously, as if it were a religion. One, get good grades. Two, don’t get in trouble. Three, respect and listen to your elders. Four, make your family proud. The importance of academic success is obviously critical, but why are recreational outlets, such as the arts, not seen as important? Society commonly conjures the common misconception that success in the classroom is the only key to success in life. Although academics are indescribably important to a young person’s development, exposure and interest in the arts is equally important.
To begin, the arts sharpen the creativity and imagination skills of young people. Much of my English coursework requires me to compose unique stories. Surely, the dexterity of using proper grammar and punctuation is taught in school, but how about the creativity aspect? This is where the arts come in. Society simply doesn’t do a substantial job of teaching pupils to be creative. That is why the arts are important. They teach youngsters creativity. I wouldn’t have been able to complete my assignments if it weren’t for my love of hip hop dancing manifesting creativity.
Creativity and imagination are important because they lead to innovation, inspiration, creativity, and ambition.
Without these four important aspects, our society, civilization, and culture would not be able to thrive. They would lack the innovation of individuals who are capable of thinking “outside the box” to create. Bill Gates, Leonardo da Vinci, Steve Jobs, and Sir Isaac Newton were all academically excellent, but what made them capable of implementing change was their ability to be creative and innovative. The catalyst which allowed them to harness their creativity and innovation was the arts. Whether it is music, dance, visual creations, or writing, the entire spectrum of art is undervalued, but vital to a young person’s development.
Secondly, the arts are essential to a young person’s development because they lead to an exposure of different cultures. Exposing culture to a young person creates cultural and historical understanding of other cultures besides their own. This eliminates ignorance and creates knowledge. Without a doubt, this is important because the arts not only enhances a young person’s ability to be creative, but educates as well. In the end, getting an education is the main acquisition a parent wishes their child to gain. The arts fulfill that requirement as well. The arts must be utilized in a teen’s education because it educates a young person in a way that subjects, such as math and science, simply cannot.
Lastly, the arts involve developmental skills. Whenever a dance is choreographed, a song is composed, a painting is commissioned, or a book is written, there is always a developing process that involves a beginning, middle, and end.
Educating through the arts teaches young people the ability to skillfully complete their work without giving up.
Perseverance and diligence is highly developed through the enduring but rewarding process.
Exposing the arts to a young person’s development is necessary because it improves creativity and innovation, educates individuals, and lastly, develops important life-working skills. If our society wishes to make great leaps for significant advancements with the goal of achieving wonder and greatness, then it will have to go beyond the classroom and onto the dance floor. (end)