Art and My Neighbor

Last night and this morning I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the phrase “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It was first said by Jesus Christ, who was telling his fellow Israelites something along the lines of “Hey, instead of trying to remember all these rules about how you should treat other people, just remember this one rule instead: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I think about that phrase, and then I think about art.

And I think about how they generally reside in completely separate spheres of my mind.

And I think about an old professor of mine who once suggested that good art can be a manifestation of love for our neighbor.

I think about my art, this music I often half-heartedly attempt to create, and I wonder if it is made out of love for anyone beyond myself.

I think about the countless hours spent in self-promotion, in marketing, in branding and social media and all the other crap that takes up my time, and I wonder if love for my neighbor has anything to do with those things.

I think about the times I’ve decided that a song is “good enough” or the times that I haven’t pushed myself to make the most excellent music that I could possibly make, and I wonder if those choices were made out of a lack of love.

I think about the money I’ve lost and the money I’ve made making music, and the energy I’ve spent trying to figure out how to make more and lose less, and I wonder if I’m loving my neighbor with that spent energy.

And I back up and think again that good art can be a manifestation of love for my neighbor, and I start fresh from there.

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