I found a book, Art and Society, Lectures and Essays by William Morris,when we were visiting Seattle this summer. It’s not, by the reviews I’ve found a popular book, but I am finding some wisdom in it that I feel pertains to some of our current problems in society. I am about half way through it and keep thinking back to what it must have been like then in 1884. Morris was a early environmentalist, an advocate of returning beauty to the world and very much against people acting as machines in their labor. All things that I whole heartedly agree with. If Morris could see the “mountain of rubbish” we have created for “competitive commerce” he would most likely turn in his grave.
What I find most interesting though is his idea that if society is to be saved it would be through the arts. His notion of art extends to all of what we create. So say, the Sears building down the street—it’s really an eyesore! It is an extension and expression of us, of our culture, what we’ve become. This applies to everything. I’m really sorry, Sears, but it’s true…. I hope we are lucky and things are changing!
Which reminds me…..earlier this year I read Steve Job’s Biography. Creating something beautiful was of paramount importance to him—even the inside of the computer, which we couldn’t even see. He got it—people really deep down want beauty, inside and out—just as William Morris got it.
And then…. what do we make, because being human I think we have to make something. I think, make less, make better, take our time, enjoy our families, enjoy this immensely beautiful planet we live on.