Friday, July 1, 2011

Project ECHO - Pride and Purpose

SOCIAL THOUGHT FORMS GRAPPLING ON THE THRESHOLD OF HUMANITY
- Mark Smith
Watercolor, Pencil, Pen & Ink 11X14”


SOCIAL THOUGHT FORMS GRAPPLING ON THE THRESHOLD OF HUMANITY: The two intertwining forces represent incomplete and violent collective thought forms. They are the real driving forces of war. The civilians and soldiers are mere tools of these global ethereal movements.

They also represent the clashing at the threshold and transition of reality into a higher form. The battle must be resolved first and they must unify to become the sun on the horizon. For now, the world remains at war with itself. Giants above will crush the people below.

CONSEQUENCES OF… 
- Mark Smith
11X14” Watercolor, Pencil, Pen & Ink

CONSEQUENCES OF…: This image represents the human consequences of war. The picture is ghastly to behold. It is the reality witnessed by many in the streets of Iraq. The bodies and blood were all over as scattered debris. The real responsible force was not the attacker, the suicide bomber, the victims, or any other living thing; but the mentality and collective will. The hatred and beliefs of the mind tore apart the victims. Originating as hate, a shockwave from the collective thought of the world affecting the flesh. These eruptions are the unconscious forces surfacing and colliding into humankind.

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Pride and Purpose - by Jin Kong (originally published in 2009 at Thinking Out Loud)

My interest in human rights came not of overnight wisdom but by dreadful experiences and a gradual understanding of my life’s purpose.

More than twenty years ago, I witnessed a perplexing moment when all that I’ve known to be good and purposeful redefined as evil and unthinkable. I was ten and lived in Beijing. I was a good student, top of the class and strived for excellence. I was a member of the Communist Youth Party, and I wore my red scarf with pride and purpose. I knew the story of its symbolism well – it was soaked in blood of the heroes before me and represented the sacrifice of the thousands who liberated my people from foreign oppression.

But when Tiananmen became a killing ground and my parents no longer spoke of the Communist Party with pride, my wishful childhood came to an end.

I squandered through high school and college in the US; partly lost in translation and partly found in the philosophies of existentialism. Upon the broken heart of Over-man and without purpose, I enlisted in the military to discover what was once my pride and what will be my future.

What I found was the sense of honor in serving with ordinary people hoping to accomplish extraordinary things. I found the idealism once so proudly displayed around my chest by a red scarf, now displayed by a single cross at Arlington National Cemetery.

I do not pretend to understand the politics behind the Tiananmen event in 1989, nor do I know why we continue to ask our men and women to make insurmountable choices in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What I do understand now to be my purpose, what has been with me since the day I saw my mother’s pride watching me become a part of the Youth Party, is the uninhibited account of civil justice afforded to the people to be equal. From the students in China who demanded the audacity to hope, to the young girl working in a sweat-shop in Si-Chuan for less than a penny a day, to the small boy whose mother and father were killed in a mortar attack in Mosul, to the soldier who came home from war and woke each night to terror, I owe them the account of recognition of their inherent dignity to a world without violence, without injustice – a world of freedom.

photo by Unknown Artist.
There lay my interest in international human rights: a pride and purpose to advocate for rule of law to recognize “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world . . . .”

Rest in peace my brothers and sisters. We will carry on your fight with pride and purpose as long as we shall draw our breath and live this life you have given to us. 

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