Please find as follows the thought process I used in creating ONE LIFE - A Call to Consciousness.

The first pairing I took on was Obama/Lincoln. There is the obvious contrast of black/white, contemporary/historical, democrat/republican, and young/old. But, there are two other remarkable aspects to consider. One is a celebration of the fact that in a relatively brief moment in time (150 years) President Lincoln set into motion a series of events that would lead from African Americans being considered by many as objects to President Obama becoming the most powerful man on the planet. And secondly, although they are certainly contrasted by all of the labels mentioned above, they have a great many things in common such as being from Illinois, politicians, president, Americans and earthlings.

I couldn't agree more when people infer that some pairings seem more logical or at least share a pattern that more readily makes sense. It is easy to see that Mao/Dali Lama, Gandhi/Churchill, Arafat/Begin and Custer/Sitting Bull represent contemporary adversaries that may have been viewed as patriot or terrorist depending on which “side” you’re on. That is intentional to start the thinking process.

It gets a little trickier when presenting Marcos and Mother Theresa. They weren’t opponents at all. In fact, Mrs. Marcos did a great many wonderful things for the down trodden people of her country. And for that, she was loved by many. Here is more a contrast of consciousness itself. By that I mean it seems obvious that anyone with over 2,000 pairs of shoes bases in some great measure, her (in this case) self-worth and identity on material objects and worldly possessions. Conversely, Mother Theresa found her value in being present each day and lovingly serving the unloved, unwashed people of the slums with no need for “things” that made her appear important, affluent or even caring. Her value came from her Christ within.

The Pope John Paul II/Khomeini pairing does come from a different place as well, but not totally. It also carries the theme, “Who is the beloved religious leader, and who the misguided madman?” People from different countries, religions and political persuasions would label each one or the other, although they too had a great deal in common.

And finally, clearly the most controversial piece I've done, pairs Hitler with Martin Luther King. And the point here, I assure you, is not to say that each remains a hero to some but rather to tell a cautionary tale about labels. It is fairly well recognized, that both men were very charismatic and could command the allegiance of others. The difference is, one (Hitler) began his public life as someone much loved, and ended it as one universally reviled. King, on the other hand, started out reviled by most, and yet ended up universally beloved. The point being it is wise to be conscious when choosing to love or to judge based upon affiliations because not only is your hero someone elses villain and visa verse, but even your hero may become your villain and their villain, their hero.

I realize that not all eight images fit into the same “theme”, and perhaps that would make for a more easily defined and accepted exhibition. I may have over stepped, but my attempt was to show that there are more categories of labels that cause conflict than merely being contemporary adversaries. And that not only may your hero be someone else’s villain, he or she may even become your villain, and visa verse.

I hope in some way this has helped shed some light on the thought process that went on in my head. There are so many personalities to choose from and I often think about adding more to this collection. I genuinely appreciate your interest and hope we can all work together in bring peace to a world beyond labels, affiliations and tribalism.

Peace,

Kevin

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