Thursday, June 23, 2016
Is Our Society Lost?
I usually only write about art on this blog but I have been watching entirely too much TV news lately and felt the need to post this piece I wrote years ago. Besides, as an artist, I am allowed to occasionally be whimsical.
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
Our world seems to be on the brink of a major transformation. A kind of energy is brewing just beneath the surface that may signify change on a massive level. Can you feel it? I am not referring to changes in global environment, nor the recent powerful upheavals of Mother Nature. I am talking about us, human beings and our thoughts and actions as a collective society.
We have moved into the information age at an incredible speed. Knowledge is literally at our fingertips, yet as a people we have not grown spiritually as rapidly as we have technologically. I am not talking about theology here. When I say spiritual, I mean working on our minds and hearts to evolve into better human beings and using this knowledge to advance society to a greater level of humanity. Though more physically connected through numerous electronic devices we seem much less emotionally connected. It is almost as though we had to make a choice between external stimulation and internal personal growth and the iPod won.
War, genocide and amazingly unbelievable greed – traits that have destroyed previous societies still live with us today. Possessing moral character seems secondary to living a self-fulfilled life, as if we must give up one to have the other.
A colleague and I were having a conversation one day and she said “The Holocaust could never happen again. We’re too evolved now...”
A deep, deep sigh from the bottom of my soul escaped me and I said, “Do me a favor. Google D-A-R-F-U-R and then let’s pick this conversation up later.”
A dyed-in-the-wool realist, I know that “paradise” is only another word in the “P” section of the dictionary. I am not predicting some fantastic utopia where we are all barefoot, wearing robes, growing our own food and greeting each with daisies. Nor am I arrogant enough to make yet another “startling” end-of-the-world prediction just because I fear the current state of affairs. But I believe, absolutely, that we must build our future using a solid foundation of what not to repeat from the past.
Do I believe that this is the end of us as a society? Of course not! I believe this is just the beginning. I believe in the power of wisdom, compassion and strength of character, and I do not feel that I’m alone. I sense the energy of those who, like me, burn to leave this world a better place than they found it. I feel a turning point has been reached in the evolution of our world and I hope this will continue. Maybe we can come up with a color to signify that we are going to treat our fellow man more considerately, compassionately and fairly. Maybe we can call it “going blue” and wear ribbons that signify our unity of purpose. Yes, this may sound silly, but I think you get my point.
Leaving a legacy of honor and a sense of purpose can last so much longer than a trust fund.
With so much yet to learn, we are still, as a race, in our infancy. To put this in perspective, if the world is really billions of years old, it could take a hundred, maybe even a thousand lifetimes before we finally “get it right”. Our possibilities are limited only by our thinking. Each generation has a chance to do better than the last. And even though we can not count on future generations to mend everything that we have broken, we should expect them to make the effort and should prepare them to succeed.
As human beings on a seemingly endless road towards emotional and spiritual self-discovery, we must remember and cherish the good of what was, enjoy that which is and optimistically look forward to what can be. This is how I feel that we will evolve as a people and as a society.
A huge thank you to Lane Von Herzen, author of "The Unfastened Heart" and the Icon Prize committee for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful project.
Video of Black and White Photographs
Video Skyscape - Heavens V
Video Skyscapes - Heavens IV
Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.