Category: General
Posted by: IkeWest
A wise person once asked me, “What do you suppose motivated people to work before there was money?” I looked blankly at this individual and couldn't think of a thing. Her answer was: “Across time, what has motivated humans is a desire to improve living conditions and beautify the environment.” That was simple enough. And to this day, I use these two measurements when assessing the value of people’s actions. For example, when I think of Princess Dianna, Mother Theresa, and now Lady Bird Johnson, I look past the media glitz and politics involved to see their successes in a different light. All of these women—Dianna, Theresa and Lady Bird—were motivated during their lifetimes by something more than greed and the pursuit of money. Each, in her own way, worked to improve the conditions around them and beautify the world. Living in Austin, Texas, I can see evidence of Lady Bird's actions to improve and beautify at every turn.



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Category: General
Posted by: IkeWest
Recently a young Belgian filmmaker asked me to share some thoughts about modern chaos. A few days later a Texas artist with close ties to the UK suggested I might commemorate the anniversary of the car bombing in London two years ago—after all I’d written about New Orleans the year after Katrina broke the levees. First, I thought about the courageous families of the innocent people who died or were injured in the car bombings. The senseless attack obviously brought them indelible grief and pain. But the disaster did something more: it imbued every person in London (and beyond) with an intrinsic sense of horror. As time passed, the shock wore off, yet for many people there was no return to life-as-usual. Like most of us, they could not escape the truth that what we now experience instead is life-in-chaos. Grasping this insight, I knew there was no need to write one piece about chaos and a separate memorial for London’s disaster of July 2005. From this new perspective, the two melded to become one and the same.



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