The Wizard and the son: on the importance of the artist.
The wizard sat on a high cliff overlooking the valley below, contemplating all things apparent.
His son came to him, and asked, "Father, the kids in the village chide me, they say I am weird, and useless like my father before me, and in school the teachers say I will not amount to anything because I question everything they tell me. What is wrong with me, why don’t I fit in?”
The son had been looking down while he spoke, and having finished, he lifted his eyes to meet those of his father, solemnly glaring back at him.
The wizard maintained his gaze for a second more, as he thought of himself as a young child dealing with the same issues and this saddened him briefly, but, he quickly recovered himself.
“My son, when you study older civilizations and cultures in school, by what do you know them," he asked his son in reply.
The son answered, “We are aware of them of the great works they leave behind.” The son continued, "we think them great because of the things they did, the great accomplishments of their civilization, we study their great cities and buildings, historians study their poets and their artist; we study their beliefs, their ideals".
“Do you not consider their teachers,” the wizard asked. The son replied; “we study those that taught new ideas.
“When you explore their cities and buildings, by what are they thought great, is it because of those that occupied the buildings?”
The son replied; “No, it's because of the vision of those that designed the buildings and constructed the cities.”
The Wizard asked; “When you study their beliefs, do you stand in wonder of those that believed.”
The son replied; “No, we wonder over those that created the new belief!”
The Wizard continued; “And when you study the poets and artist, do you study those that read the poetry or those that admired the art?”
The son exclaimed; “No, we study those that created the poems and created the art.”
The Wizard asked; “And how do you know all these things, which you study?” The son thought for a minute and answered, “We are aware of this stuff because a story is known, and a historian recorded.”
The wizard paused for a moment; then he spoke; “the poet, the artist, the architect, the storyteller, and the historian, by these, and through these all civilizations are known and remembered. By such as these, beauty is known and such as these are you!”
“Do you understand, my son,” asked the Wizard.
“Yes, father, I understand,” replied the son.