Recently I’ve been reading this great book by Lisa Bloom entitled, “Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World”.  Each page leaves me dumbfounded at things I never knew about the world–like how eating beef contributes more to global warming than any other single factor (like driving, wasting electricity, etc) or how 3 million women are enslaved in sex trafficking.  I am in awe as I keep learning all the things that don’t show up on Google News or NPR (or maybe I just haven’t been listening to enough NPR lately).  Anyway, I feel like the past week I’ve been left contemplating ‘heavy’ things.  The more I read about the extreme poverty that one billion people live in, the stranger it feels to go grocery shopping or do laundry, you know?

So once again I’ve revisited that thought of, “really?  There are starving people out there, and I am going to spend the next hour making…art?”  Thankfully, that thought doesn’t dominate my mind very long any more, although I remember struggling as a teenager when I first fell in love with art.  I wanted to know how it was ‘okay’ for me to devote a life to art when I could devote a life to being an advocate for the poor, a physician for the sick, a voice for the silenced.  I read and thought and prayed about it for, well, years.   

Eventually I realized that these things were not mutually exclusive; being an artist doesn’t mean that I can’t be involved human rights.  I also realized that more important that what you DO is who you ARE.  And more than anything, I felt a divine voice encouraging me and whispering over and over, “keep going!  Be an artist! You can do it and make a difference in the world in the process!”

Now I have the combo of stay-at-home-mom added on top of that, and somehow making a difference in the world seems a lot harder when you can’t even get showered and dressed before noon.  I feed my daughter at dinner and can’t help but think, what can I do with the resources around me to help the other mothers who have nothing to feed their children?  I hop online to check my email and I wonder, what can I do personally to contribute to advancing education among women in developing countries? 

And how can I do it through art? 

I don’t feel frustrated by the thought, just challenged. 

So I’ll start by using the resources around me and ask: How would you do it?

 

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