I have been doing a lot of thinking over the last month about what I hope to accomplish. The question about my artwork (see August 5 post) got me thinking about how I translate that into what I actually work on. It also helped me to recognize that I was obsessing about the business part of my art business, which, in turn, was blocking me from creating anything. I finally realized that I need to allow myself to do what feels right and not worry about how it affects the business side of things. If people like what I create, maybe they will want to own one of my pieces. If not, I will have expressed myself anyway, and hopefully, made some people think about the issues my work represents. All of this is a rather long-winded way of admitting that I have no creative work to show from the time I have spent over the last month, but I have made progress toward accomplishing my goals.
On another note, the impact of decisions made by the government (I assume), and possibly, insurance companies was brought home to me this last week. I have been on a medication for allergies that I had been taking every day. It is no longer going to be available through the pharmacy, but will be available over the counter. The problem is that the cost of the over the counter medication is so high that I can no longer take it every day. This would have been the case even it I were still working. I am faced with having to wean myself off of it, since I can't afford it, which has already caused me some problems. It makes it very clear to me what a struggle it is for people who must decide whether to pay their medications for serious conditions or some other necessary expense (like housing, utilities or food).
I have also been trying to watch the series that ABC News has been doing on poverty. You can find it here: Hunger at home. The number of people in poverty in the U.S. is stunning, especially when you consider that we are one of the richest countries in the world. A comparison to other countries is available through the World Bank at Poverty. The data from the World Bank does not include U.S. figures, possibly because the gross national income (or the average income) per person in the U.S. is almost $50,000 a year, while the poverty headcounts they are looking at include incomes of $1.25 - $2.00 per day in what is called "purchasing power parity" or the amount the person would be able to purchase for that amount in dollars. A more technical explanation of the term can be found here: Purchasing Power Parity. When I talk about global equity, these are the types of things I have in mind. I am concerned about people who are impoverished around the world and believe there has to be some way to make things better for everyone who does not have their basic needs met.
Finally, I read an article yesterday, in the September 2011 issue of St. Anthony Messenger" magazine, that made it more clear to me how my actions affect people living in the areas where resources are obtained. It was about a young woman who lives in a Catholic Worker community in the Appalachian mountains, and discussed the impact of the coal mining practice of mountaintop removal. The coal company blasts to remove the top of a mountain in order to get at the coal underneath. The earth that is removed ends up filling streams, covering land, and reducing mountain terrain. In the process, families living in the area experience damage to their water supply, homes, and heritage. Home values are also diminished. Since most of us in the U.S. use electricity that is powered by coal, our use impacts those communities.
I apologize if this is a "heavier" post than you expected, and hope that you will bear with me. It is my greater hope, however, that you will be intrigued enough to check out a few of the links to see for yourself what the situation truly is, and perhaps, decide if there is something you can or want to do.
Until next time, I wish you peace and all good.