Stencil of my mother who lived a life of compassion.
[I’m terribly sorry for the earlier bad grammar. Please feel free to offer corrections in my posts as I tend to type too quickly and not double check].
The world doesn’t need revolution, it needs compassion!
This is a stencil illustration of my mother that I created soon after her death in 2010. She was a person who lived a life for others. She was a person who had a deep well of forgiveness and compassion for others. On her grave stone I had inscribed “Resting here is Margaret Adele Thomas, beloved mother and unassuming princess among humanity . A soul of great beauty, compassion and self-sacrifice". She is my greatest role model in life.
When I created this work, as well as missing my mother deeply, I had been reminded of that iconic image of Che Guevera that is now commonly found on the t-shirts of non-conformists around the world (many of whom I would suggest don’t understand the idea of communism nor know much about Ché Guevera’s personal history). His image has come to represent the idea of revolutionary change in society. Those familiar with history will recognise that although revolution is responsible for a lot of interesting things in human culture, it hasn’t ever delivered a utopian society. In fact it very often leads to a lot more harm and suffering with just a change in the demographics of the people inflicting the suffering and those receiving.
There is something far less drastic than revolution that is far more effective in bringing us closer to a utopian society. That thing is compassion. Unlike emotions like anger, hate and fear, which spring from the basal ganglia, (the neurological structures that we inherited from our reptile ancestors), empathy and compassion are a product of cerebral activity. In other words, a person without these cognitive skills is emotionally stupid, cognitively impaired. It is not strength to be without compassion, it is weakness, pathological weakness. If you don’t believe this statement, ask yourself, who in our community are completely devoid of empathy and compassion. It is the psychopaths. People who rape, murder, torture, molest children without the slightest feeling remorse. They do not represent an evolved or evolving humanity. Those without compassion, or who devalue compassion, represent a diseased state of being.
Thus, I created this image to illustrate how each of the billions of individuals on this blue planet, like my mother, has the power within themselves to generate a revolutionary change in society, without revolution.
Compassion is evolved, compassion is strength. If each of us practice compassion daily, resisting the pressure to adopt the mean spiritedness around us, we will influence others to do the same. As kindness flows from person to person, the anger, hatred, bigotry and violence within our diverse human community will be quelled. Just as a raging fire is quelled by the softest, meekest element, water.
Some ways to take compassion a step further:
:: Celebrate World Kindness Day each year on 13th November. http://kindness.com.au/world-kindness-day.html
:: Join the World Kindness Movement http://www.theworldkindnessmovement.org/
:: Join The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/
:: Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week, held February 11-17, 2013. http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/rak-week
:: Join online communities such as Care2, Amnesty International or Getup and get involved with social justice and other ethical issues.
:: Volunteer for an organisation that provides assistance for people in need or make donations if you can afford to.