culture

ART and art of not judging fellow humans

sherryjacobswebThe Olympics serve as an incredible opportunity for collaboration, cross cultural understanding and personal growth, even from the convenience of the couch upon which one sits to watch the spectacle. As the Winter Olympics of Sochi progresses, millions of people are tuning in to witness these 17 days unfold.

Detractors might be focused on the security threats and unfinished amenities connected to this particular event, but at its essence is an unusual opportunity for exploring our connection to our own culture. For those lucky enough to be hanging around the Olympic Village for the next few weeks, their opportunity for cultural exploration is heightened by living in such close proximity to “others” with their sleek outfits displaying their nation of origin literally on their sleeves. Reports from the front describe a beautiful and magical atmosphere, with people from so many different cultures living in close proximiy to one another.

Today’s art exercise will take this opportunity to reflect on our own culture and investigate our attitudes towards others outside of our culture. Please find some paper and jot down some messages you are getting from your culture these days…maybe from: popular songs, commercials, twitter feeds, newspapers, blogs, friends etc. Are there any messages of an “us” vs. “them” peppering your thoughts? Can you bring your thoughts down to a personal level and think about anyone you encountered in your day as an “other” whom you might have unfairly judged? Could you be brave and share your list of messages with them as an opportunity for a cross cultural experience? If you can, there is a strong likelihood that you will have your very own Olympic Village moment. Good Luck Earthling.

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Honoring a Leap Year

February 29th occurs only once every four years, 2012 being one of these years. To honor this anomaly in our Gregorian calendar, we will create an art project today pertaining to this day and our connection to time. Please find some paper and a pen. Imagine if you were given a bonus extra day in which you were not obligated to anything, what you would do with it? Please draw or write or even schedule how this day would be spent. Now circle the most appealing thing or things on your paper. Can you find an hour today..this extra day on the calendar to do it? What is your connection to time? Do you feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you have to complete in the course of the day. Are you looking for things to do to fill up your time?

Yesterday’s Project: The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, he said: “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”  Sound familiar? Is there anything you can do to change your situation if this quote is a parallel to your situation? Can you do anything with the above project to honor yourself by doing something indulgent with some time?