How often do we in our modern lives make time to sit still? No, I'm not referring to looking at your mobile phone, or any other screen.

I mean to sit still and just be with ourselves, taking in our thoughts and our environment. Too often today we are transported elsewhere via digital windows into other people's manufactured reality. We look to (social) media influencers to tell us what to think, rather than pondering what we ourselves might actually think and feel, thus formulating our own opinion.

It is all to easy to go with the flow, follow the herd and feel assured that "everyone" thinks the same. But at what cost?

No two people are the same in body or mind. What is good for one is not necessarily good for another, just ask people with food allergies. There is no one size fits all.

In this era of mass everything, mass production, mass media, mass movements, the individual is under threat. What is the mass, but many individuals. If the individual is lost in the mass, then the mass itself is lost. Those that are lost are then all too willing to follow the (mis)guidance of self-appointed saviours, as we have seen in this past century, most often to their detriment and any others not included within the chosen ones of the mass.

The ills of the world are first cured within ourselves and our immediate environment before looking elsewhere, otherwise everyone is busy with everybody else's business while never attending to their own. It is far easier to point out the wrongs elsewhere than to deal with the unpleasant work of your own.

This is why people escape to virtual realities and feel good vocal crusades. A good deal of mental energy and focus is expended, thus we can tell ourselves that we did something. Better still, show everybody else in that same virtual space, how pious we are and bath in the applause of affirmation. It papers over the cracks that lead to the chasm of reality, that in the end we have not attended to the garbage piles in our own lives.

If we attend to our own little corner of the world starting with ourselves, we have indeed then made a change in the world, because we each are a part of it.

"Stillness", Leo Plaw, 30 x 40cm, oil on canvas

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