“The most important question of any generation is how will the next generation live.”
While I’d like to claim that guiding truth, those were the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoken over 60 years ago in the midst of World War II. They are as true today as they were then.
We all have a way of supporting the next generation, whether it’s encouraging them to pursue peace and reconciliation in the midst of tensions with families or friends, or to honor other cultures and faiths in this world of diversity.
My own small role is to encourage the students of Alexandria’s Campagna Center programs to know and love art through bookmarks of my paintings. Art can transcend what’s evil and unkind and help us focus on what’s beautiful and caring. It inspires empathy, understanding and reflection. It’s why I feel such joy seeing these little children from the Campagna Center receive my bookmarks as rewards when they progress in their reading.
Here’s to what each of us can do to help the next generation live well.
One of 2013’s gifts for me was an extraordinary sunrise this summer when I was in Coronado, California. It emerged gently and quietly lit the sky over the Laguna Mountains with translucent blends of yellows and blues, and then just rested there as if to say “Sit with me. Enjoy me. And take my peace with you today.”
The scene was so remarkable it just had to be painted… and here it is. It’s titled Peaceful Rising.
Sunrises have an invitation to them — to be still, reflect and prepare our hearts and minds for the day ahead. I sometimes wonder if the world — far and wide and near and close-by — might be a more peaceful, loving place if people had more moments of reflection.
Wherever this finds art update finds you as the new year rings in, I wish you many peaceful risings in 2014.