Wednesday, April 28, 2010

defining values

i have to admit, i've had some trouble writing this post. i've started it over and over and keep coming up confused. but i think i've been making it harder than it needs to be. it's probably the word "values" that's throwing me, so i'm just going to go ahead and make a list of what's important to me instead:
  • education
  • creative expression (including photography, poetry, painting, novel writing, drawing, textile crafts, performance art, dance, landscape design and just about anything with a tangible or recordable outcome that engages the creativity centers of the brain)
  • growing things (this relates to both the point above and the one below)
  • equal access to high-quality, organic, whole, natural foods (i started to say healthy, but given what advertisers tout as healthy these days, that word has pretty much become meaningless)
  • sustainability and environmental health (preservation of natural resources, alternatives to toxic chemicals that make us sick)
  • interpersonal connection
  • making a positive difference in the lives of others
i always come back to julia cameron's the artists way. what i extrapolated from that book is this: creation, in the form of art, writing or any other creative expression (including, for me, the creation of food from plant from seed) is the most powerful antidote to the pain and destruction in our would today. a life for a life just robs us twice. the only lessons taught are negative ones. but a poem for a life, a memorial quilt for a life, a song for a life, that helps preserve and remember what was lost. it gives back something new and meaningful in the void that was left. it can even transform loss into a learning experience. into a community building experience. into rebirth. art is creation. growing food is creation. building community is creation. harvesting power from the air is creation.

the job i do now actually does align with many of the values i have listed above. the problem is the distance. i can reach a million faceless people and hope what we have done helps them in some way, but i cannot look them in the eye or hold their child's hand, helping to guide the shovel as he plants his first seed. there is no connection. and without that, i can only guess at whether i really made a difference or not.

No comments:

Post a Comment