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New challenges evolve. Will we?

The Artdog Quote of the Week

There is no lack of new challenges in our world. Our call to good stewardship demands that we rise to them. But if everyone thinks alike, soon there are no new answers, only old ones that bring less and less well-adapted solutions to evolving problems.

We, and our world, need all of us to come together. Only together can we find a way forward. If we remain separated into our little warring camps, we can only continue to scatter our energies, squander our resources, and find the old, same ways to fail.

We owe it to all of us to do better.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Brainy Quote, for this image that features a quote from Tim Berners-Lee.

Where is our strength?

The Artdog Quote of the Week 

For the last few years, there’s been a clash in our public discourse about the nature of strength and its sources. In case I wasn’t enough on record on this topic yet, I stand with Stephen’s analysis. Diversity is not a handicap. It brings a variety of viewpoints, talents, and capabilities to any situation. In our human community as in ecosystems in nature, diversity fosters resilience.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Brainy Quote, for this image, featuring a quote from Stephen Covey.

Challenge to a deeper dive

The Artdog Quote of the Week

Are you aware of your unconscious biases? Of course not–they’re unconscious! But unconscious bias is abroad in the land, no matter where you live or who you are. The results of such biases for or against others based on gender, ethnicity, culture, appearance, and in many other areas have been observed and documented. And we all have them. It’s a result of how we humans are “wired.”

Becoming aware of our unconscious or implicit biases is not usually easy–and it’s almost always an uncomfortable process. But it also is a worthwhile goal. And a whole lot more “fixable” than stupidity.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Quote Fancy, for this image and quote from Bertrand Russell.

Recognize, accept–and celebrate!

The Artdog Quote of the Week

IMAGE: Many thanks to Healthy Place for this quotation from Audre Lorde and the image that sets it off so well! 

Essential to the world’s beauty

Artdog Quote of the Week 

There is strength and beauty in cultural diversity. Cultural exchange, cultural interaction, is the way we achieve it.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Quote Addicts for this image and quote.

Awakening creative joy

Artdog Quote of the Week

It’s back-to-school season this month, and my focus now shifts to the vital importance of nurturing creativity in schools.

Einstein Quote art of teaching

I’d like to tie this month’s theme to last month’s “strength in diversity” theme. I see the two as being intertwined. We cannot be strong in our diversity unless ALL of our children receive the best possible education.

Creative connections made in schools are some of the strongest motivators. As a teacher who’s worked in both rural and urban schools, I can tell you that at-risk students who cannot find relevance in their schoolwork won’t stay. If they don’t stay, we all have failed.

But if they stay–if we engage them, intrigue them, give them interesting things to do and reasons to persevere–then the future opens up with ever more and greater possibilities and promise.

IMAGE: Many thanks to The Artful Parent for this image.

Threads of the Tapestry

The Artdog Image of Interest 

Our “strength in diversity” month is coming to a close–and what a strange, challenging month it has been. The temptation is always before us, to retreat back into our own short-focused tribes, build up the barricades, and glare out from behind them with suspicion.

But as Maya Angelou and Nate Williams remind us in today’s image, there’s another, better way to look at the world. As long as we fail to see and value the tapestry, we’ll keep unraveling.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Zachary Cole Design for this image.

Independently together

The Artdog Quote of the Week: 

My vision of Strength in Diversity has everything to do with people from different cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, and life experiences coming together to pool their collective wisdom.

That is, in fact, also the essence of creativity: drawing ideas from a range of sources and putting them together in new ways. Only through that process can we innovate, develop our potential and make progress toward a better world.

This attitude does not mean I’m a pie-in-the-sky idealist who just wants to sing Kum By Yah with everyone else in the world because of the overflowing goodness in my heart.

And I don’t espouse my ardent belief in the vital importance of social justice out of some ambition to be politically correct.

No, my primary reason for affirming the importance of a diverse and interconnected society is that I firmly believe it’s my nation’s best route to a strong, positive future. It will take the intelligence, and the fortitude, and the creativity of ALL of us, to get ALL of us out of the messes we’ve made.

As allies, not enemies, we need to think independently together.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Inner Journey Outfitters, via Pinterest, for this image.

Who and where are the “Good Cops”?

This week’s Artdog Image of Interest is a Video:

Today I’d like to share my little platform with a guy whose Internet identity is “Mike the Cop.” He’s part of the Humanizing the Badge organization, which is doing its part to share a perspective on law enforcement officers that we don’t always get from the media.

If we’re genuinely interested in exploring the extent of our diversity, then this is ALSO a minority who should be heard from. So if you’re willing to listen, Mike has some concise, true and important things to say about “Good Cops.”

VIDEO: Many thanks to Mike the Cop’s YouTube channel for this video, to Humanizing the Badge for helping me find it, and to the vast majority of our law enforcement officers, who serve every day and do their best always to be good cops.

Peace and Justice and Black and Blue

The events of this month so far have left me feeling torn in pieces.

From Dallas, before the attack. Can we see more of this, please, and less of what came later?

Anyone who reads my blog from time to time will likely have noted that I am interested in, and largely sympathetic toward, law enforcement. Yet another dominant theme for me is social justice Indeed, on July 2nd, I announced that my theme for the quotes and images of this month would focus on diversity as a major strength of my homeland, the United States of America.

I chose it because the ugly rise in open racism that I have seen in recent years troubles me deeply, and I believe the most patriotic thing I can do is oppose that trend. I’m not the only one in my country who feels torn by seemingly competing loyalties, or betrayed by the oversimplifications it’s too easy to fall into.

If I am supportive of the police, am I automatically unsympathetic to the minority communities that have so often been targeted, or oblivious to the seemingly-endless cases of unarmed black men (and boys) killed by police?

If I affirm that the protesters often have an all-too-valid point, am I undermining the authority and values of law enforcement, or denying the value of the rule of law?

No. I want a third way. I want a way where everyone’s intrinsic value is affirmed: where ALL neighborhoods have access to good food, good education, health care, and job opportunities, and where the presence of the police is honestly welcomed.

As President Obama said in Dallas, we must keep our hearts open to our fellow Americans. “With an open heart, we can abandon the overheated rhetoric and the oversimplification that reduces whole categories of our fellow Americans not just [to] opponents, but to enemies.”

I pray he was right when he said, “I believe our righteous anger can be transformed into more justice and more peace.” But it won’t happen if we stay back in our bitter, angry corners and refuse to see each other’s humanity. Each one of us has a responsibility to step up: to do all we can to make that vision a reality in our world.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Quartz, for the photo of the protester with the cops. 

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