What Is Art?

Art is something that plays a part in everybody’s life. Anyone, from any walk of life, can make or appreciate art. But what, exactly, is it?

There are several ways of thinking about art.

For example, it is that stuff that you go to see at a museum. From the paintings hanging on the walls to the sculptures on pedestals, you can go and look at Art, with a capital “A”.

But it is more than that, of course. At the museum gift shop, you can buy a print of some of the pieces, and hang them on your wall at home. Surely, a reproduction of a work of art is still art, right?

You might buy a painting from an artist who is not a household name. Or you might even paint something yourself. All those are examples of artwork. So it would seem that the pedigree of the person producing the work is not what determines if it is art.

Does intention matter? If I sit down at an easel, with a paint brush, I can produce a painting. The finished product might not be very good, but it is an effort of creation.

However, let’s say I find an elaborate spider-web in the morning, glistening with dew. Is that art? The spider that spun the web did so as an act of creation, but didn’t intend to make artwork — it was just following a biological imperative. Maybe I’m so impressed, I take a picture. Does the act of photography make it more or less artistic?

Perhaps only the appreciation matters. If someone appreciates something as being aesthetically pleasing, is that thing automatically a work of art? But doesn’t that mean that anything can be so classified? And if that is true, does that devalue what the word “art” even means?

Related questions: How important is the artist to art? Art: create or consume? When did you last push the boundaries of your comfort zone?

How Do You Adopt New Ideas?

We are constantly being exposed to new ideas. How is it that you adopt some of them which end up being a part of who you are?

Adopting new ideas is really a multi-step process.

First, is the exposure to new ideas. That might come about through reading, conversation, travel, or others ways you might expand your personal views.

Second, you have to recognize the good ideas from the rest. Frankly, this step remains something of a mystery. How do you choose an idea as good? Or at least deserving of further consideration?


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’


The third step is the one that is the focus of today’s question. Once you pick an idea as worthy (however you might do that), what is next? How do you actually incorporate it into your worldview? How does someone put into practice this new way of thinking?

All of the ideas that are floating around in your head, that make up your personality and help guide your decision making, started out as new at some point. Those ideas were plucked from your experiences, and incorporated into your self.

How did that happen? Can you make happen in the future? If so, how? How do you adopt new ideas?

Related questions: Where do ideas come from? Where do shared ideas exist? What is necessary to change your mind? How can you change your attitude?

Everything Matters Or Nothing Matters?

Sometimes it seems like your efforts are all for naught — nothing matters. On the other hand, if a butterfly can create a hurricane, then everything matters. Which one seems more correct to you?

Share why if you wish.

Everything Matters Or Nothing Matters?

What’s The Most Important Thing You’ve Read In The Past 6 Months?

Has the most important thing you’ve read recently come from a book — non-fiction, a novel, or a short story — a newspaper or magazine article, a blog post, the lyrics to a song, a poem, or a note from a friend?  Or, perhaps, some other medium?

And, what has it been about? The pandemic?  Politics?  The economy?  Or has the most important thing been about a passion of yours?  Or has it taken you deeper into a hobby?  Possibly it’s something a friend wrote you via snail- or e-mail.  Or, maybe it’s been about something completely different.

Lastly, have you done anything differently because of what you’ve read?

Related questions:  What are you reading?  What are you thinking about?  What is important?