Today we say goodbye to a true visionary, Steve Jobs (1955-2011). He died at the young age of 56. He helped to create the world we know today. Getting computers into the hands of everyone was a true revolution. The personal computer revolution led to the place we are today where iphones, ipads, and mac computers are just part of how we live. These devices and the social media tools we have at our fingertips are the way we communicate worldwide. These tools have driven an entire industry that didn’t even exist 35 years ago, millions of jobs revolve around the personal computer. Steve Jobs was a mountain mover on a large scale, and he got there by pushing himself into zones that were new, maybe a bit uncomfortable.
“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.” –Steve Jobs (1955-2011)
I think these words are appropriate for the place and time we find ourselves today. Massive protests are taking place all over the world, and they have taken root in the United States. 30,000 peaceful people marched through the streets of New York City today — students, labor unions, unemployed, sympathetic citizens. I have heard folks refer to this new movement as The American Autumn. Somewhat in response to the Arab Spring, the theme of the movement seems to be against the inequality of our system. Folks feel left out of the loop, the environment is taking a pounding, our politicians don’t seem to be able to agree on anything to better our situation. We all want to live happy, healthy, creative lives.
One of the common themes I hear when I interview artists is that they create because they have to. It was never a choice, they were called by the universe to be an artist, a creator, an innovator. They don’t dance to the beat of another’s drum, they are banging their own drum.
The Lithia Artisans Market of Ashland is open for the rest of the month of October. It is as close as you will come to true freedom of commerce, freedom of artistic expression. There is no middle man, no corporation associated with the artisan. The artisan epitomizes what it means to be self made, hard working, innovative, and self reliant. However, so often the monetary reward is barely enough to exist on. To change this model will take a paradigm shift in how we view success, fairness, community, responsibility, creativity, etc.. So many of the models that affect our worldview are a bit skewed.
I believe that we are on the cusp of something great, but it will take lots of work, sacrifice, and willingness to participate to really create a better world. We are all part of the solution. On the point of blatant systematic inequality, I find myself in 100% agreement with the protesters at the Occupy Wall Street gathering (let it be noted that this is the opinion of Marcus Scott and not an official opinion of the Lithia Artisans Market of Ashland (LAMA), its board of directors, management, or anyone associated with LAMA).
I have said this before, but it deserves repetition. Making things with your own two hands and selling it at your local artisans or farmers market is a revolutionary act. It is not what you are expected to do by the corporate powers that be. You are supposed to be part of the production of goods or services by working for someone else, and then the consumer of said good or service. This, in turn, puts more capital into the hands of those who control the means and methods of production and service. When you make and sell your own creations — be that art, food, craft, music, or a new idea — you effectively break that cycle of servitude to the machine, and instead focus that energy on self, self-reliance, and community. With that comes power, the embracing of your own being, the betterment of your reality, our shared reality. You are beautiful, you are awesome, you are loved. Be who the universe needs you to be. We all have important roles to play.
Like the visionary Steve Jobs said, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.” Push your own boundaries, challenge your own comfort zones. It is out there where you can learn new things you didn’t know about yourself. In this time of economic challenges and upheaval, it is important that the artist stay true to her path while paying close attention to the world around him. Do what you can do, listen to your heart, make a difference in the world. Most importantly, keep bringing your version of beauty into this world. The vision of the artist is as important right now as it ever has been. Visualize then actualize the world in which you want to live. Now is the time.
Support Local, It Matters!!!
For this weekends Music Schedule, please go to this post… October 2011 Music Schedule at Lithia Artisans Market.