I sat and looked closely at this photograph for a few minutes, trying to figure out what exactly it was that captured me. Obviously the beautiful and cheerful colors caught my eye, the window boxes of flowers, the cleanliness. The complete package grabbed me, but something deeper grabbed me as well. The pride the creators of this town have, the freedom of spirit to color outside the normal box, the imagination they have and above all their courage to express who they are. They have not forgotten beauty and what it offers not only to themselves but to others. Their town says we care, we are proud of who we are. So many foreigners long to come to America, yet I do not know why. We have lost our pride, we are not free to express ourselves any longer, getting ahead in America is a thing of the past. Americans can’t admit this to themselves, but it is true. We are not who we used to be, we have been taken hostage and brainwashed to worship the almighty dollar. We don’t think in terms of pride any longer. We care little about cleanliness, our infrastructures are crumbling, our cities are dirty brick or gray, housing is run down. Our journey towards wealth has left us with no time to indulge in imagination, to feel pride, to create things that say we care. It is time to wake up and begin rebuilding America back to a country of pride!
Our surroundings reflect what is inside of us and we are crumbling and decaying as well. We have lost our abilities to care about life, we don’t build for beauty and longevity we build cheaply for profit, our lives are so mundane and exhausted from struggle we no longer view life through beautiful colors. We see life through gray, it represents struggle, it is often depressing and at times hopeless.
How long can we continue to believe in the lie that America is the best country in the world? Those days are gone, but need not be forever. Imagine what some street cleaning, cans of paint and window boxes of flowers could do. It certainly would cheer up ones spirit. We have settled for boring, colorless, and often rundown drab. Why have we settled for this? Why haven’t we demanded better? Our imaginations became stifled by the boredom of concrete gray. Bright vibrant colors would have lifted our spirits and that was not part of their plan. We have been too busy chasing the elusive American dream while our pay checks plunged and the cost of living rose, filling corporate pockets with cash. The hours we worked to make ends meet became longer, both parents now worked so there was nobody watching out for the children and the brainwashing of television became their afternoon nannies after school.
We deserve better but in order to have better, we need to create it for ourselves. We must find the courage to stand up and demand better and if the Government won’t give us better we must create it for ourselves. If you own apartment buildings in the city and have an open mind, paint them beautiful colors and help begin to bring color back to the lives of your renters. Who said buildings had to be concrete gray? We must stop accepting our lives in shades of gray and the lack of imagination that goes along with it. We are just as much at fault for allowing this to happen. Many don’t even realize what has happened to them.
Go back and look at the difference between the two photos above. You must obviously feel the difference each one makes you feel. Now begin to look around you and you will begin to see the drabness everywhere. It crept in upon us like mushrooms spreading without us even realizing what was happening. Yes, of course there are small enclaves in towns dotted about that are clean and perky and semi uplifting, but as a whole you will find drab by design. To keep us in the lower frequencies, unaroused by vivid colors, unimaginative and settling for what we now have.
How subtle their take over was, how we fell for it. But, just because we fell for it doesn’t mean we have to stay suffocated by drab. We can add color to our lives on many levels and begin to say, ” NO, we won’t accept this anymore”. They have destroyed the beauty of the world with dirty ugly cities and housing tracts that look absolutely identical house by house, suffocating individualism and creativity. NO MORE! To all the workers out there creating things I say, start adding pride back into what you are making, make things last and make things that have beauty! It is we who must build America back to the way it was.
Blessings to you all,