Friday, May 28, 2010


At times like this when overwhelming tests and reading assignments are finally calming down, I like to reward myself with a little visual research time. I can never get enough of good photography. Hours can pass just pouring through photos and making mental notes of ideas for possible artworks. Oh Flickr, what would I do without you? (maybe I should be wondering what more productive and important things should I be doing with these hours...hmm....) But anyway, today as I was following link after link, I found myself looking at pictures of crowds.

I was surprised at the number of different contexts, emotions, and environment that these crowds were affiliated with. Crowds at the beach, commuting, protesting, playing, observing, listening, fighting, waiting in line, etc. What does being in each of these crowds entail for us emotionally? No longer are we living in our own solitary cabin or plot of farmland. We have access to people and information around the entire world.

I was thinking of how at one time, we can be surrounded by people and feel totally whole; energized and invigorated, sharing in the passions and mindsets of those surrounded by you. Then in a different context, crowds become totally and utterly lonely, or completely overwhelmed. I remember being lost in grocery stores and gigantic campuses. How can we at the same time feel dehumanized, or totally powerful when surrounded by people? Sometimes I wonder if we would feel more alone isolated somewhere out in the middle of nowhere, or in the midst of big crowd of people we didn't know, especially when we start to compare ourselves with these strangers around us. The selfish part of me things I'd rather be alone and able to really think about who I was so I didn't compare how cute my living room was to some interior design blog, or how good I am at this or that. But then the better part of me thinks that there's a reason for putting us all here in the same place.

How important does it make you feel to realize that in the midst of a lonely, over-populated city street, God's love for you and me is overflowing and has no limit? How motivating is it to realize that we have capacity to influence others for the better? Who knows how many people in those crowds around us are watching you or me, gaining hope from a smile or a kind deed observed. So many people to love unconditionally. How does God do it? That fact that he does is reason enough for me to give it a try each day. Dave showed me the trailer to this video documentary project called six billion others that is super wonderful and eye-opening. Dave says that they have started to show it in the MTC so that missionaries can begin loving and trying to understand people of all backgrounds; so that they can assign mental images of the people that they will be teaching.

Anyway, it sure is nice to be able to spend some time pondering and researching ways to communicate important messages in the midst of things like SFL 210 or whatever classes I might happen to be taking. It just helps me place and translate all of the information I'm trying to cram into my tiny little brain into something truly meaningful. 6 Billion is a big number, but not so big when we realize the important potential we have to become something, and to bring and lift as many along with us as we can.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Saturday, May 1, 2010