These are tough times for optimists like myself. Even though this household rations our exposure to the news, we are immersed in the events that are engulfing the planet. It seems like there is little good news most days. We are in for it…a time of suffering and deprivation for many.
Much of the pain could be alleviated if we each tap into the kindness that is in our hearts. Most of us are very willing to be kind and fair to people we know and love; we can extend that to strangers. The love in our hearts can be limitless…love cannot be quantified, and no heart is too small to love everyone. Where are examples of this love? Look to the nurses, the nurses aides, the doctors, the grocery store clerks, the delivery persons, the volunteers doing what they can to help all of us through this nightmare, the people wearing masks, those staying at home.
Of course, where there is kindness, there is also the opposite. Cynics and opportunists make decisions that affect all of us. Their cold calculations of the worth of a life determines many policies. Harsh rhetoric frees many to act out their biases and hatred. Shooting a store employee who asks one to wear a mask; screaming at a police person who is guarding a state capitol; cutting back on healthcare and food assistance in the middle of a pandemic…what is in the hearts of those who behave in this way?
What kind of hearts hold distrust of people of different races, disregard for the homeless, disdain for the elderly and infirm? What heart beats in a person who can see suffering and not act? What heart allows one to refuse care and concern for others at a time they need it most?
I don’t know the answer, but in my mind those hearts are black…stained by hatred or perhaps deep holes devoid of light. This artwork tells that story.