By Emily Larkin, Managing and Online Editor
I’ve been on the low / I been taking my time / I feel like I’m out of my mind / I feel like my life ain’t mine / Who can relate?
Logic released his hit song “1- 800-273-8255” at a pivotal point in this century. According to BBC, in 17 years suicide rates in America have jumped 30 percent. It seems now, more than ever, people need a sense of belonging to hold it together.
More than once on Newman’s campus I’ve heard whispers behind backs that one of my majors, theatre, is “elective.” So many times, when I tell people that I am earning a theatre degree, they laugh as if it is a phase I’ve not gotten over. In my costuming class last week, we were talking about why we produce art. Why do we spend money on constructing beautiful pieces when we could be putting it into medical research? The answer my classmate gave took my breath away: “Because art saves lives too.”
Don’t get me wrong; if I am in the hospital and need surgery, I want a trained surgeon to operate on me. But, at my age, as the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control presents, I am more likely to kill myself than to die of the heart disease that runs in my family.
Throughout my life in the arts, I have seen time and time again the hope and love that the community can give to a person who is struggling with suicidal thoughts. Art helps make us feel something. It changes our global perspective and brings emotion back to the emotionless. It helps expand our world view and adjust our perspective.
After Logic performed his song “1- 800-273-8255” on the 2018 Grammys with fellow artists Alessia Cara and Khalid, calls to the Suicide Prevention Hotline almost tripled, CNN reported . Tweets that followed the performance showed a strong message: “You are not alone.”
I was sitting in the car last semester having possibly one of the top worst days I have ever had in my life. My professor and life mentor had died that day and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was at one of the greatest lows in my life. But, that song came on and changed perspective. I knew that everything would be alright because even though it felt like it, I wasn’t alone.
If one performance and one song can have so much of an impact on a generation, can you imagine how transformed the world can be with a continued appreciation of the healing properties of art?
Dare I say it, art may save the world.