I'm feeling quite philosophical today, maybe it's the grey weather, maybe it's just me, who knows, but what's on my mind today is the fact that we're a society of whiners. Everywhere I turn, someone has a boo-hoo freakin; sob story. Life's done us all wrong, it seems. But has it? Has it really? Granted, there are things that happen, horrible, crappy things that we didn't ask for, didn't deserve and that come right out of the blue like a sucker punch. That's not the stuff I'm talking about.
What I'm talking about is the individual hell we seem to create for ourselves, that self-made misery. We cry poor, yet we have more than over 90 percent of the world and we've spent more on pizza, beer and coffee this month than some people in our own communities have spent on groceries to feed their children. We complain about our weight, as we sit in state of the art, massaging, self reclining easy chairs, eating Doritos. We complain about the nice things others have, judging them as greedy or somehow morally inferior because they can somehow acquire these coveted objects, yet we're doing nothing to improve our lot to give us even a shot at getting anything like it. We hate our neighbours and childhood friends for daring to be "on the wrong side" of the political divide, apparently forgetting that the cornerstone of a democratic society, something we pride ourselves on, is the fact that we all have a say and a vote and are free to express it. We comfort ourselves in the complete assurance that the beautiful thin woman, the handsome man, well, they can't be very bright and they must be horribly unfriendly, selfish and self-absorbed. We run around searching for quick fixes to all these maladies, the magic pill, the sweet elixir, the book with the answers.
The catch is, we're the ones who created it, and believe me, I too, am guilty of slipping into this. We've done a lot of this to ourselves, and to comfort ourselves into thinking otherwise, we've taken to self righteousness, envy, judgment and a sense of not getting a fair deal. That's what this painting, which I call Self-Made, is about. The figure is sitting in her own hell, she created it herself. But you'll notice the light around her. You know what that is? I'll tell you. It's when we finally shut up for a second, sit down, take a look inside, deep inside and begin to take responsibility for the things we can change in our lives. It's at that point we can begin to change things for the better and turn that hell into something better. I'm not saying it's easy, and I've had to do it many times in my life (maybe I'm a slow learner), but it is worth it. A lot of what we do, we do to ourselves and once we realize it, we can begin to live in the bright light rather than the pit of hell.