Jul 15 2011

#76 “Pack Mentality”

From Joel

What fine specimens greet our eyes today. As you can clearly see, these wolves by Joel are simultaneously beautiful and and artfully rendered, but they also accurately represent one of the most well-known features of the wolf lifestyle: the tendency to live and travel in packs. Now, there is a lot of information available as to why wolves live and travel in groups, and if you are curious, you can access information here. But when you think about it, many reasons for existence of the wolfpack can easily be guessed. For one, it makes hunting prey easier. It also allows for greater personal security, helps to ensure the availability of mates, and provides a “social” outlet for the animals.

When you translate the concept of the pack into the realm of human existance, things can get a little tricky. There are a variety of sides to this issue and many ways to examine it. Some might argue that the global society formed by increased technological communication is in turn increasing the human pack mentality. Others argue that this same phenomenon is actually decreasing true human interaction and is only serving to isolate people. On another note, when you look at most modern communities, many people don’t have anything that resembles a close personal relationship with their neighbors. This is probably due to the fact that as our society progresses and the ease of acquiring the necessities and amenities of life increases, our reliance on those that live in a close proximity to us decreases. But, eventhough we not know the person who is living next door to us, it can also be argued that there are more social outlets than ever before in terms of activities that range from recreational softball teams to the wild world of LARPing.

So what can we do? What conclusions about the “human pack” can be reached when the viewpoints that are so fundamentally different? I’m not really sure, but here’s a start: I think that we can all agree that we need each other. Not necessarily for survival, but still… we need each other. Ne need the warm smiles, the firm handshakes, the loving embraces, the gentle holding of hands that only another human can offer. And if we truly believe this, why not make the choice to today? Add life to the pack. Be kind to one another. Show love in every way possible in your daily life. Let your life be a blessing to others. If we all pull together, there’s no telling what we may accomplish.

Thanks for the artwork, Joel. Your contribution is a reminder of the selflessness and beauty that I hope to practice in my own life.

Jun 30 2011

#61 “There’s Strength in Numbers”

From Pauline

While you examine this illustration, please consider these aphorisms:

Individually, the drops of water that fall from the sky are capable of no great feat, but combined into a mighty torrent, their power is unmatched.

A single note may be capable of eliciting an emotional response, but this is minuscule when compared to the soul-stirring strength of an entire symphony.

There is potential in a word, but a book of them arranged in the proper order can move mountains and change the course of history.

A single leaf can be crumpled in the palm of a child, but thousands of them overhead have the potential to blot out the rays of the sun, the heavenly body around which our own world revolves.

A single grain of sand may easily go unnoticed by the human eye, but gather up enough of them and you can create a foundation strong enough to support an entire human body… or the strength to bury one.

Each second that passes may seem of no consequence, but when taken together… a lifetime of wonder may be created.

And finally, a single character typed into a word processor may hold no great significance, but arranged in the correct order, a series of them can transform miraculously into the image of one of the most amazing creatures known to man. You see, with this unique illustration, Pauline was not merely content to deliver an average or predictable representation of the lupine. She chose instead to make a larger statement about the power of unity and the importance of strength in numbers. The lesson, my friends, is universal. Whether wolf or human, we must all realize that despite our individual talents or abilities, our power can only be amplified when we work in collaboration with others.