When I look around, I see more diversity. I don’t think this is just because I live in New York. I know what it was like here 20 years ago, and I feel like there is a closeness that wasn’t here before between living beings: various animals together, various people together, and various animals & people together. It makes for a beautiful landscape. I myself am the result of a mix of races, and I never felt more common or more accepted than now. I’m not saying there is not racism or speciesism. There definitely is, and it’s heartbreaking — but slowly healing and getting better.
I saw the most wonderful movie recently. I saw it on Netflix (but you can watch the full movie on PBS for free I believe, via this link). The movie was called Odd Couples. It’s not referring to romantic partnerships, it’s about friendship partnerships. And it’s not about people, it’s about animals. Judging by the cover, it looks like a boring and odd movie, but I will tell you — it’s not boring and it’s a gem. Please see it if you can. It’s very heart warming, entertaining and inspiring.
This week I was telling a friend about the movie. He asked me if I knew the work of Richard Renaldi. I said I didn’t, and he told me I should check it out. That it too is about odd couples, but ones that the photographer brings together as art. Well, I did check the photographer and his work out, and it definitely is thought-provoking-mind-opening-awareness-raising art. Watch a CBS video of the artist at work with his subjects, click here to view. (PS, Richard Renaldi just finished his Kickstarter campaign. He attempted to raise 10,000 dollars to produce a fine art photography book titled Touching Strangers. Instead of raising the 10, 000 he planned on ….he raised 80,000 dollars. Obviously people resonate with this topic and want to see more of it in the world.)
The world is changing. The weather is changing. The unknown is becoming a known and widely discussed topic. People are questioning their lives and their future. It really is time to join forces. To realize living beings (animals, people, everything alive) are not independent of each other. They not only depend on each other, but thrive when they realize that they actually are each other — all spinning on the same planet, all relying on the same cycles, all vulnerable to birth aging death, all wanting to feel good. When we realize this, we are free. Free of mental constructs, ingrained beliefs and genetic predisposition.
Let’s continue to open our hearts and expand our awareness. Let’s continue to leave behind old ways that no longer serve us. Let’s see and envision a new world. Let’s support those who are working towards creating a united compassionate world. Let’s live it fully in our own lives more and more each day. Let’s have fun pushing boundaries. Let’s laugh and love while making the impossible possible.
[All photographs of people are by Richard Renaldi, all photographs of animals are not. I put the photos of animals & people in collage form just for this blog post, to enable the reader to see more than space would allow.]