This sad fish above is my very small contribution to the Ripple project. Kelly notes that $10.00 buys three bottles of dish detergent, which cleans one bird. As of June 22, this project had raised over $5,000 in contributions. If you would like to make a contribution (and receive a great piece of art too), visit the Ripple Blog for more information. If you are an artist wanting to join this worthy project, visit the Ripple Blog for inspiration and more instructions.
Posts Tagged ‘ripple’
Posted in Illustration Friday, Relationship, Wisdom, tagged "Communication", age of information, Anais Nin, Hundredth Monkey, Illustration Friday, John Seed, Lao Tzu, mass communication, miscommunication, paradox, Rilke, ripple, ripple effect on June 11, 2010| 5 Comments »
The Illustration Friday word of the week is ripple.
Did you play the children’s game where a whispered sentence goes from one to the next, changing in hilarious ways as it traveled around the circle? Have you witnessed the ripple effect as a person wakes up irritable, kicks the dog, the now-nervous dog nips at a neighbor’s child, the child screams, and the neighbor sues…? Communication–whether it be action, word or mood–has a lot of negative potential.
An uncredited quote from my ubiquitous scrapbook couches this ripple effect in contemporary societal terms: “One great paradox about the age of mass communications is that misinformation can now be passed along to more people than ever before.” Newspaper tabloids profit from this trend, and it is worth considering that daily newspapers and television can also spread misinformation, inadvertently and otherwise. A published book does not necessarily contain Truth, and even photographs may be ‘doctored’ now to moderate their effect. What can we trust?
However, for better or worse, we humans are still very tribal in the way that we receive and communicate information. We are hard-wired to react to everything and everyone around us and, most especially, to our peers. It is very tempting, very easy to surrender to the expert’s opinion, to the Tradition, no matter how poorly the fit. In the last century, Anais Nin (1903-1977) wrote, “We always keep forgetting… that we live in a very deadening culture, a very corrupt one.” But even in the twenty-first century, it is a sad fact, that there are so many of us who follow the path of least resistance. The Still Small Voice within each of us is easily drowned out when there is no intention or encouragement to listen to it… and humanity as a whole suffers for this error.
But that quiet voice is still there. And it is important to remember, “The way that can be followed is not the way,” (attributed to Lao Tzu, 4th century BC). I do not mean to advocate anarchy here, but simply the cultivation of each of our own unique potentials within the whole of this thing called the human race. And it is a Whole. Modern science is beginning to verify the mystics’ stance that we are all connected in some invisible way, and that we all share information, no matter how distant how bodies. “The Hundredth Monkey effect” is a contemporary expression of something that we all know, deep down, to be true. Modern communication technology, astounding as it is, mirrors only a fraction of what humans are capable of.
If we are all unique, all connected, the implications can only boil down to this: each of us is here to offer her individual gifts and her portion of the Light to everyone else… for the good of all. The inhabitants of this planet cannot afford to hold onto the illusion that we are all ‘separate’ much longer. The environmentalist, John Seed makes this very clear: “Just hold your breath for two minutes and you will understand the illusion of separation. There is no separation possible. We are constantly cycling the water and air and earth through us.” The belief in humans as separate (which is not the same as individual) is a belief whose run has ended.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1825-1926) wrote: “For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.” And it is in our communication, the very energy that we ripple out from the center of ourselves, that we have the potential to communicate love… or something else. We communicate through our creativity of any form, our attitudes, our moment-by-moment actions and our words. We change the world, keep it the same or make it worse with every moment’s choice. I am not saying that the best choice is easy… only that it is necessary. “Mostly people change not because they see the light, but because they feel the heat.” (Unknown)
Can you feel the heat?
“Communication” (oil on paper)