Can Thinking about Animals Make Us Kinder to People?
Where: Aesthetic Realism Foundation
141 Greene St.
212-777-4490 Price: $8.00
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Children can be amazed by animals. A boy says, “Dad, look at the color of those sea anemones–awesome!” Animals can terrify—a girl exclaims, “The fangs on that bat are so creepy!” Children have also used animals as a refuge: “Puppy, you’re the only friend I’ve got!” And children can be, shamefully, unkind to animals—then feel very bad about it later.
The Saturday, November 17th, Learning to Like the World class, taking place from 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM, will ask “CAN THINKING ABOUT ANIMALS MAKE US KINDER TO PEOPLE?” Boys and girls aged 5-12 will have an exciting time learning how to see animals more fairly and deeply, and through them, people! This wonderful children’s event will show children what Aesthetic Realism, founded by the American poet and critic Eli Siegel, explains: every person’s deepest desire is to know and like the world. Teachers Barbara Allen and Robert Murphy will talk about and illustrate these sentences by Mr. Siegel:
“We should ask: What is an animal?…What does a dog see? How much recognition is in a dog?…What right has a thing because it is that thing? What rights has a living thing because it is a living thing?
“Aesthetic Realism says that we can learn from anything in nature—if our purpose is to learn. Our deepest purpose always is to learn about the world so that we can know about ourselves, and to know about ourselves so that we can learn about the world. There is always an interaction.”
Children will be learning “about the world so that we can know about ourselves,” through this principle stated by Mr. Siegel: “The world, art, and self explain each other: each is the aesthetic one-ness of opposites.” For example, see how the familiar and the mysterious are in that chameleon as it goes from green to red to blue? A child might learn those opposites are also in her little brother! He can seem so familiar, but has he wondered about how the stars are made? As children see that the same opposites are in themselves and an animal, in a sibling, a friend, even their teacher, they’ll be kinder and happier!Buy tickets/get more info now