“Only one thing has to change for us to know happiness in our lives: where we focus our attention.” Greg Anderson
Recently, I went up to Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York for a tour and one of the stops was at the Tang Teaching Museum. They had some very interesting exhibits but the one that struck me most, by its originality and humor, was Peter Edwards Elevator Music 17 – Spector, 2010 installation. The installation was part of the 10th Anniversary celebration of the Tang Teaching Museum and will remain, with other exhibits, on campus till February or so.
Essentially, Elevator Music 17 – Spector, 2010 showcases a light based sculpture in an elevator with accompanying sound all created by sound artist and instrument builder Peter Edwards. The lights change color and the effect is quite surreal; like something from outer space. According to a piece in TimesUnion news on the installation, “Spector is made of plastic orbs, electronics, micro-controllers, hardware LEDs, aluminum and microphones.”
Looking at that installation, I had an aha moment; it reminded me of the correlation between the elevator image and the up and down rides we call life. Now, I was going to post about the effect our own inner dialogue has on us when we ride the elevator of life. What angry or uplifting things do we self talk about? What type of conversations do we have with ourselves and how do they translate into our daily lives? I was reflecting on this notion of elevators as symbols of the ups and downs of our journey and often filled with people along the way that are happy or hateful; oblivious or engaged.
I was going to share my thoughts, on our inner elevator dialogues, and share the pictures I took of the installation with a couple I got elsewhere, when I read about the terrible shooting of US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and several others in an Arizona supermarket. Such senseless acts of violence bring us back to the critical need for conversations on what our society is becoming; particularly what our political system is becoming and how we need to collaborate in peaceful, thoughtful dialogue across the nation.
According to news reports (BBC, NYTimes, CNN, NPR, etc), six people lost their lives, the congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, is in critical condition and several others are hurt. All because they were in a supermarket when the gunman decided to commit such a hateful crime. I know people are hurting and many are riding up and down in elevators without light or hope; dealing with job and health-care loss, housing issues, and the ensuing stress and depression many are now living with. However, we must pause before we act and we must consider the pain and horror our actions will inflict on innocent bystanders, our families and the families of the maimed.
Regardless of where you stand on this terrible incident that is becoming a conversation about choosing political sides, I beg you to consider those who lost their lives, and those who were hurt and realize that until we set aside our petty hatreds and treat each other with dignity and respect, even when we disagree with each others point of view, we are destined to get caught in the crossfire of hatred and dreadful acts of violence.
Please choose your elevator carefully… We all matter!
What are your thoughts? Do share! My condolences to the families of the deceased, prayers and healing light to Congresswoman Giffords and the other survivors of this tragic shooting.
Positive Motivation Tip: What you focus your attention on, you become… embrace happiness not hatred. 🙂