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Should we nurture enthusiasm?


When I was young I was fascinated by a few things. I liked speed and took up cycling. I liked experimenting and would spend my money on electronics components to experiment with. My fascination with electronics was destroyed after trying to work in that area.

My need for speed survived but had to be reigned in when I started to drive  a car.

I think the enthusiasm of the young can be nurtured and lead to great things or it can be stifled and wasted. Now I’m fascinated by words and writing and creating images. I don’t think I will allow this to be destroyed. I don’t really need the approval of others, although I admit I like it when they do show some appreciation of what I do.

At the moment, the government is writing off anything creative and wants to force children to learn science and maths. I quite enjoyed maths at school but I was good at it. When it became more complex, I needed a better teacher and that was when I lost interest. I didn’t have  better teacher. Children can’t be expected to become mathematicians if they only have poor teachers. To understand something, you have to make the knowledge your own. You not only need to understand the mathematics but the practical application of mathematics. I am sure there is a use for calculus but in my life I’ve never come across it and no one has ever told me of a use. Often mathematics is made more complex than it needs to be with the use of Greek symbols which adds to the teachers mystique but offers the student nothing. I can actually enjoy doing complex maths if I’m programming a computer, computers tend to be more logical.

I am more interested in art now too. I have been asked to review art exhibitions. My views on art have changed. Art has to have a degree of skill to be accepted as art. A simple drawing in proportion can be classed as art, but a picture produced by throwing paint at a canvas is not art. Art is about aesthetics, not just expressing yourself.

Is my photograph today art? There is some skill involved in getting a good photograph, but I don’t think this particular one is very artistic. It’s acceptable as an image and nothing more than that. If I waited for just the right light and perhaps used a warm filter and took more care with my camera settings; then I might produce something artistic. This picture is little better than a snapshot that anyone can do.

The desire to create something that few other people can produces great art and new inventions. That desire is often destroyed in young people when it should be nurtured. Whether it’s science, electronics, literature or visual art, it all has a place and should be nurtured.

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