It's hard to remain focused these days when newspapers continue to churn out daily the worsening state of the sputtering economy. One of the MSN Top news is titled “Jobless rate soars to 8.5 percent in March”, the highest since 1983. The Tampa area is especially hard hit, the unemployment rate escalating to more than 10% in the past weeks. That means 1 out of 10 is out of work, and with that, out of means of sustenance as well. The figure is even more staggering, bordering on being mind-boggling, when part-timers and discouraged workers are factored in.
How did we get to this sorry state of affair? The rational side in us would want to blame it on cyclicity, as if such troughs in the business cycle, a rather ominous term, are an immutable facet of life, even citing past crashes as indisputable evidence. But is it? Or is it self denial, it being easier and less painful to ascribe the downturn to some unknown forces that we have no control over? However, the truth, no matter how unpalatable it seems, is largely human greed, too little money chasing after too much wants instead of being contented with satisfying our needs.
Some may say this is Karma, a collective one, being retributions for the collective wrong that we have inflicted on each other and the environment. While karmic retributions cannot be eliminated in the sense that past wrong cannot be undone, they can be transformed into karmic blessing by doing good and not merely avoiding committing wrong, by being compassionate toward all sentient beings, by giving, by putting others before self, and by imbuing wisdom in what we do, day in and day out, starting right this minute.
Indeed the power to change things for the better is wielded by no one but us. No good deeds, however insignificant it may seem, is beyond nor beneath us. Each of us just has to do our part, all of us being the cogs, big or small, that push the wheel of life forward for the betterment of all.
And while doing that, do take an occasional rest here and there to savor what nature brings, even in photos and painting. Those calm-inspiring and awe-instilling moments engendered in the process, the unraveling of nature's wonder and human creativity, are therapeutic to say the least.
This is a painting of Mudan (Peony) taken at Brother Yang (Wify's Chinese calligraphy teacher)'s residence.
This is a shot of a potted flower plant taken at Linda's residence.
And a blooming bunch of flowers brightening up our home.
Backdropped against the azure sky, a seemingly "dress-up" tree exemplifies the interdependence, and synergy, observed in Nature.
Bundled and yet discrete leaves of a pine tree taken skyward at USF.
Three boats approaching the shore, leaving a trail of square wave pattern in their wake, fronted by a curvilinear near continuous wave crest pattern that is wind-induced. No, they are actually duckies, as seen on the scenic pond across from the Psych Building, USF.
Trees on wheels, at the end of a transit trip and awaiting replanting on ground seen at USF.
And here's one lady who knows a thing or two about enjoying nature, the locality being sandwiched between the duck pond and the trees on wheels seen on the previous two images.