A friend recently asked me, essentially, “how do you give back?” and broached the topic of helping society (as an artist).
And in fact I’ve been overthinking this issue for some years now, so I jotted off this list of options:
Strategies for Helping Society
1) make lots of money doing X, then write checks to people doing Y that helps society
2) write stories / do art about X, make lots of money as artist, then write checks to Y that helps society
3) write stories and / or produce art that inspires other people to do Y to help society
4) write stories / do art so as to create a personal platform, then use the personal platform / fame / personality to influence changes in society that helps society
5) directly do Y to help society (front of stage)
6) help others who do Y to help society (backstage)
7) stay insular and help self/family/friends but don’t reach out to society / mankind much
For many years I thought I was going to do #5. I think my folks kind of wanted me to do #1 or #2. If you put activism into stories, that’s in the direction of #3, maybe a bit of #4.For my art,
I’m really good at #6. I worry about doing too much of #7.