I have said this before and I am saying it again. Where you choose to spend your time and your money is a vote for what kind of world you want to live in. People have asked me, how are things going with Primal Aspects, my wife Em’s art business. Folks, Em’ hasn’t produced a new piece of art for sale in over a year now. Why do you suppose that is? We spent a good part of 2011 and 2012 pushing Primal Aspects, going to events and setting up to vend, displaying her art in museums and other venues, in a shop down in Cleburne that ended up closing after barely a month. She and I both finally reached a point of burnout. She stopped painting, drawing, sketching and pyrography for pretty much the same reason any other artist, musician or other creative person stops creating. When no one is buying your stuff you begin to have self doubt. Is my work not good enough? Am I doing something wrong? What should I try that I haven’t already? Oh, I’m sure if someone reads this at some point I will get some kind of feedback of, do this and try that. Chances are, we already did. Prints, yup, Cafe Press stuff, did that too, deviantART, ArtFire, Etsy, blah, blah, blah. Yup!
Financially, we’re okay. My income is enough to sustain us fine but because of how things have gone Em’ is talking about taking on a part time job after the beginning of the year and just doing art on the side once in awhile. The extra income will help us with things like newer and more reliable cars, the land we hope to buy soon, etc.
But I didn’t start this piece to be a woe is me or a woe is Em’ piece. It’s about a much bigger picture topic. It’s about the guy who used to own a small hardware store in town but ended up having to go out of business because a big box store moved in and sold reduced priced merchandize, some of it made by child labor overseas perhaps, but cheaper, much cheaper than he could hope to compete with. So he goes out of business and ends up working for the very people who ran him out of business for a barely livable wage. It’s about the hundreds of thousands of small farmers who have lost their farms to big Ag. It’s about a lot of things which have taken the power to choose how to live out of the hands of your neighbors, family and community.
Where do you spend your time and money each day? What kind of world are you voting for? Cheap, easy and disposable? Or quality, a little more work but worth the effort and sustainable. What sort of world will our children and grandchildren inherit? The power still lies in each and every one of our hands. We choose each and every day where to put our time and money. It’s how we got where we are today.
Take a look around. Are there things and places you miss? Does it seem that the world is missing a certain flavor it once had? Why do you suppose that might be?
Just a few thoughts. Your mileage might vary. But I think, the ways of our ancestors may have been wiser.