My friend Mick Stern, a very exceptional New York City poet, writer, artist, has just published another one of his unique pieces. In it, a humble and impoverished painter and the Emperor of China engage in a series of epigrammatic exchanges. In these fifty short dialogues a whole universe of truth and wisdom is revealed to the reader, almost all of which makes plain how imagination and creativity defeat the negative and cynical method of thinking and judging so common today. There are so many gems in this short book. Here is one of them, called "People."
The Emperor of China decided to hold an audience with some craftsmen and artists. Upon questioning, one artist said that he had made fifty thousand paintings. The Emperor laughed and said, "Fifty thousand! Surely that is too many!" The painter said to him, "Here, in this city, there are fifty thousand people without food. That is too many. There are fifty thousand people without shelter. That is too many. There are fifty thousand people in prison. That is too many. But fifty thousand paintings are not too many."
see: Fifty Thousand, written and edited by Mick Stern