We live in a tumultuous and very frightening time and it lately seems to me that the degree of uncertainty has increased exponentially. The level of anxiety and distrust around the world seems to have grown more intense, even palpable, leading to an increase in the level of hatred and violence, both at home and abroad. Despite such events, there are many people who continue to work toward a more tolerant, just, and someday, a more accepting world. (Each person, depending on his or her beliefs and feelings, may find ways to contribute to this effort.) For those of us who do feel weighed down by many of the present circumstances, what can we do in our own lives to combat fear and negativity and to hold on to a more positive view of our fellow human beings?
If our eyes are open, each day holds many possibilities for creating positive change. There is the joy of being with family and friends, reveling in their successes and sharing in their struggles. There is the wonder and beauty of the natural world and our connection to other species. Those of us who choose to love and care for pets bring that connection close to home. There is the pleasure of reading for learning and/or entertainment (often both at the same time). There is the power of music that reaches us on an inner and intangible level, causing our spirits to soar with joy or to feel intense sadness, depending on the memories that are evoked through listening. There are movies, some of which cause us to think and feel more deeply, and some which simply entertain and allow us to take a break from our daily concerns and struggles. For many people, writing is a tool for expressing a myriad of ideas and emotions.
Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that I believe the above suggestions are somehow a panacea for all the serious problems faced by our world and the people in it. For me they represent a strategy for coping with and trying to break the cycle of negativity and depression that sometimes envelops me.
In the life of any person there will be difficult circumstances which must be accepted and coping strategies need to be developed. Kaleidoscope tries to present realistic pictures of living with a disability. It is not always a walk in the park, nor should it necessarily be seen as a tragedy. Through creative expression, the writers and artists that we have published over the years, have demonstrated the power of the arts to subordinate and transcend disability. Kaleidoscope shares the complexities of living with a disability while showing those who are our “typical,” peers that we are more alike than different. Thus we help build a bridge that brings us closer to the day when disability does not represent “otherness,” but just another variation of human experience.
There is definitely a transformative power in all of the arts which is what makes them so important to our individual and communal lives. The fruits of creativity can often remind us of our best selves. The arts can help sustain us in times of fear and trouble whether on an individual, a national, or a global level. It is my hope that, at least to some degree, this is what Kaleidoscope does for our readers.
Read Issue 75 of Kaleidoscope here - Reflective ~ Transformative ~ Eclectic