Letters: Keep art in schools, it teaches our humanity

SHARE Letters: Keep art in schools, it teaches our humanity
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Michael Jarecki/For Sun-Times Media

Having lived and worked in Japan and Germany, I know that most developed countries in the world are proud to finance their arts. Here we seem to dismiss them as worthless.

As a teacher (retired) I protest. Art is not an extra — it is essential to our development as human beings. At the classroom level, art is a powerful force in motivating pupils — it reaches them when nothing else will. It opens minds, soothes hurts, stimulates learning, encourages involvement. Art in all its forms reveals us in our very essence — in our most secret and subtle variations, in our common humanity.

From finger painting to lace making, over a lifetime we reveal sadness, joy, fear, loneliness, love, delight. We can say it. We can sing it. We can dance it. We can sculpt it. We look to those who can, in the click of a shutter, the stroke of a brush, the arch of a back, the draw of a bow, bring us to a sense of wonder, recognition and understanding.

If life is lived well when one seeks truth, revelation and connection with others, then it can only be lived well with art at its core. The works of our ancestors are given great reverence and these works are often called priceless. Any price is paid to preserve these products of artistic expression. When will we feel the same urgency to nurture the living authors, creators and interpreters of our lives? When will we recognize the genius of our artists? When we don’t, we lose ingenuity, innovation, creativity — the very qualities that have made our modern world possible. Nurturing these qualities should be lifelong.

Art is not an extra. It is not unnecessary. It is intrinsic to our beings. It holds the meaning of our lives. Art is our humanity.

Ruth Hosek, Near North

Mr. Chicago

Jerry Roper was truly Mr. Chicago; in love with his adopted city, he did us proud with his myriad contributions.

Vincent Kamin, Loop

Time to govern, gov

I totally agree with the sentiments expressed by Mark Brown about the Bruce Rauner TV ads. Could someone please tell the governor that the campaign is OVER and that it is now time to govern! Mr. Governor, you only won by 4 percentage points —hardly a mandate for your “corporations-first” policies you are pushing.

As far as Mark saying he does not understand why all the state’s newspaper editorial boards are taking Rauner’s side in this and saying it is entirely the Democrats’ fault, let me help you understand. Just about all media (print, digital, television and radio) is owned by a few corporations and they all do the bidding of their corporate overlords. They are the same folks who are running and profiting from Rauner’s endlessly relentless commercials. That’s why.

Pamela Johnson, South Loop

Stop harming JRW kids

Hasn’t this charade gone on long enough? Haven’t these kids been used as political pawns in this shameless game long enough? The longer people with dubious motives fight the decision to vacate Jackie Robinson’s ill-gotten championship, the more these kids will be identified as “The Jackie Robinson Kids.” Their very being will be “The Kids That got Caught Cheating.”

I was president of Justice-Willow Springs Little League. There was no “investigating” to find out what our league boundaries were. Little League provides each league with a map of their boundaries, and it is pretty cut and dried. The rule book also clearly states that while a child is allowed to play out of district in some instances during the regular season, come playoff time children can play only in the league they reside in.

The kids from Jackie Robinson were from all over. These are not instances of a child missing the border by a block or two. Some of these kids were from 10 miles away and more. Everyone involved, league officials, coaches, parents and, yes, even the children knew they were cheating. How many of these kids are getting teased at school? As these kids maturity level quickly exceeds that of the adults involved, how many of them are embarrassed and wish it would all just go away?

Little League International isn’t used to this kind of challenge because the few times that the winning team was found to be cheating, they had the good sense and at least a little pride in that they quietly slipped away into obscurity so as not to further embarrass the children and their community. This isn’t about the kids and it never was. This is a bunch of adults that cheated, got caught, and now want to blame someone else. Someone has to tell these “adults” to just let it go before these kids are damaged any further.

Gary Bjorklund Justice

Read the Constitution

For once, U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts ruled without partisan bias. Republicans dreaming of destroying the Affordable Care Act because of the word “state” is a joke. If they read the Constitution, which is something that Republicans should do instead of just pulling it out of their pockets to wave around as a prop, they would see that the nation is referred to as the “state” many times.

Michael Shepherd, Bellwood

Dump the penny, $1 bill

To streamline and make the economy more efficient, our currency and coinage should be updated and upgraded. The penny has long outlived its usefulness but can live on as a virtual penny on credit/debit card transactions and bank statements. Most pennies are not in active circulation but sit in jars and containers on dressers. Will you pick up a penny on the sidewalk?

The cost of making a penny is now almost 2 cents. Then there is the extra labor in handling, carrying making change etc. Rather than contributing to inflation by eliminating the penny it may actually make the economy more efficient. How difficult is it to round off to the nearest nickel? We dealt with this problem in the past when the penny had the purchasing power of about a quarter.

Then there is the dollar bill that we can’t get in the slot of vending machines and have trouble fishing out of wallets and stuffing back in. Try throwing a bill in the toll road basket. At one time it purchased well over $20 in today’s goods. While a coin can last for decades a bill may last only 18 months. Retire the $1 bill and perhaps the $5 and replace with coinage.

Thomas Cechner, Lockport

Not a lame duck

President Barack Obama had a great week! Affordable health care will continue to have subsidies, same sex couples can be married and stay married when they travel and last, but not least, House Speaker John Boehner traveled in the same plane with President Obama to the funeral of the state senator in South Carolina.

Kudos for our prez. He’s not a lame duck.

Verna Hooks, Grand Crossing

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