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  • Sylwia Herbst

A Rebel Against Status Quo


All my life I have felt different and not in agreement with things around me. It’s not that I violently opposed anything, but that I quietly questioned everything and tried to find answers to things that didn’t make sense to me. I would imagine how our world could be or should be, and then created those things, first in my mind, then in art, and finally in life.

No one seemed to understand me. When I attempted to discuss my visions or ask questions most people, kids and adults alike, had no idea of what I was talking about or seemed too afraid to discuss it. Often, I felt like I had landed on a foreign planet and no one spoke “my language.”

I’ve always questioned the status quo and all the things we are “supposed to” do. I remember when I was in a class and was required to memorize the chemistry periodic table. I asked what was the purpose of doing this? The answer I got was that I needed to know it for the test. But why? I really had no use for this.

I’ll tell you, now that I have children, I never skip or ignore any such “why?” question. I’ve realized that we should in fact have a purpose for learning or doing something. We should really know the answer to “why?” and if we don’t, we should find out. It may take a bit of searching, but the answers are there. Don’t let anyone tell you they are not. They seem hidden but they’re there when you keep looking.

Eventually, in my own search for the answers to life and art, I learned that some chemistry was helpful when it came to mixing paint or finding out how to make sure paint doesn’t peel off the canvas. I didn’t learn that in school though, but what I did discover was useful and had a purpose for me.

Later, I stumbled upon this quote by L. Ron Hubbard, which explained this aspect of life to me:

“The artist has an enormous role in the enhancement of today’s and the creation of tomorrow’s reality. He operates in a rank in advance of science as to the necessities and requirements of Man. The elevation of a culture can be measured directly by the numbers of its people working in the field of aesthetics. Because the artist deals in future realities, he always seeks improvements or changes in the existing reality. This makes the artist, inevitably and invariably, a rebel against the status quo. The artist, day by day, by postulating the new realities of the future, accomplishes peaceful revolution.”

Boy, this statement really lit up my goal as an artist to help make a sane future for us all. I create art because there is a purpose there to inspire and uplift others.

I do believe we are all artists in life, and through creating something aesthetic, together we can elevate this culture and bring out the beauty of humanity. In the words of my 9-year-old daughter “creating is the key to getting everything you want.”

Thanks for reading. I’ll leave you with a challenge: think of something you can create this week, decide when to do it, and then do it.


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