Most people simply want to be happy. It really is that simple. Happiness usually involves food, clothing, and shelter. Anything beyond these basic three is extra. Yes even motor vehicles and cable television or the internet are in most instances an extra item in our lives. Yes, I know a car helps you get to work and helps you get to other destinations; the internet is part of the business world. And I greatly appreciate the blessing of having a car and the internet allows me to share my thoughts and work remotely.
This current thought process of simplicity came after seeing an exhibit currently on view in the Community Gallery at the Columbia Museum of Art. Ecos: Resonances of South Carolina Latino Stories. “Ecos (Echoes) is a collaborative multimedia art exhibition featuring the stories of Latino immigrants in the Lowcountry interpreted by 20 select Latino South Carolina visual artists.”* One painting title Peasant Sunday by Pedro Rodriguez resonated with me. It was inspired by the tradition of a community communing together each Sunday letting go of the past week; and renewing their spirit for the coming week.
On Sunday’s I too renew my spirit for the coming week. I try to make the sabbath a day of rest and reflection. I wash away the prior week and think of the things on my to do list for the coming week. Visiting local museums, art galleries, or browsing the library book stacks bring renewal. This is my happiness the one thing that keeps me centered and sane. On my day of rest, I try hard not to think to much about household chores or expenses. I don’t focus on things that can aggravate me. It is not always easy to do but it is necessary for my sanity to not dwell on the past. I learn from it and move forward with knowledge gained from failure but most of all successes.
Most importantly the Ecos (Echoes) exhibit is a reminder to all U.S. citizens that our ancestors came to this continent from elsewhere, whether by choice or via enslavement. Even those most indigenous to North America migrated at one point. Seeing this exhibit reminded me why I personally fight for basic human rights. Everyone should have a chance at better. Families should not be separated at borders. All U.S. citizens who believe this must tell their U.S. Senators and Congressperson fixing immigration doesn’t mean building a wall. What makes the United States of America great is building bridges and tearing down walls. The next time you meet someone different from you remember they are human first and that really is all that matters.
*Source: Information provided by the artwork description as part of the exhibit.