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Lions Roar : July 2016
simple; it begins with you. You don’t have to be living in a third world country or working for an NGO to make a difference. Each of us has a unique mission. We are all pieces in a giant, fluid puzzle, where the smallest of actions by one puzzle piece pro- foundly affects each of the others. You mat- ter, your actions matter, your art matters. We’d like to be clear that while this let- ter is written with an artistic audience in mind, these thoughts transcend profes- sional boundaries and apply to all people, regardless of profession. WE FIND OURSELVES in turbulent and unpredictable times. From the hor- ror at the Bataclan, to the upheaval in Syria and the senseless bloodshed in San Bernardino, we live in a time of great confusion and pain. As artists, creators, and dreamers of this world, we ask you not to be discouraged by what you see but to use your own lives, and by exten- sion your art, as vehicles for the con- struction of peace. While it’s true that the issues facing the world are complex, the answer to peace is FROM WHERE I SIT To the Next Generation of Artists In this impassioned open letter, jazz giants (and Buddhists) HERBIE HANCOCK & WAYNE SHORTER point the way to a more artful, peaceful world. First, Awaken to Your Humanity: We are not alone. We do not exist alone and we cannot create alone. What this world needs is a humanistic awakening of the desire to raise one’s life condition to a place where our actions are rooted in altruism and compassion. You cannot hide behind a profession or instrument; you have to be human. Focus your energy on becoming the best human you can be. Focus on developing empathy and compassion. Through the process you’ll tap into a wealth of inspiration rooted CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE HERBIEHANCOCK:KWAKUALSTON;WAYNESHORTER:ROBERTASCROFT LION’S ROAR | JULY 2016 13