The Pleasure Principle Wins Every Time

Michael Franti, born on 21 April 1966

When Michael Franti traveled in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine/Israel with his guitar and camera person in the early millennium, he learned that people in war zones — just like people who enjoy some comforts and freedom from daily anxiety about making it through the day in one piece — prefer love songs and celebratory songs over protest songs and songs with grave content.

What that says about the psyche is that there is more to us than a (very understandable) wish to escape hardship and to forget sorrows, that there is a deep (and equally understandable) appreciation for moments that are innocent and uncomplicated, that make us smile, that give us reasons to live and to keep loving.

The potential in art and in crafts is enormous when we conceive of them as powers of beauty, of connection, of santosha (well-being), of pleasure, of love, of peacemaking, of reenchantment… All those things that can restore us into a state of friendliness and courage.

Winter solstice 2016

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