Origins Gallery – Downtown Stroudsburg – Poconos

Origins Gallery

Origins Gallery is a recently opened contemporary art gallery located at 580 Main street, in the quaint Downtown area of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Origins Gallery has weekly hours and has special events on Saturday evenings from 7-9. Each Saturday there is a different featured artist’s work displayed on the walls while a precisely paired musician or DJ provides the aural ambience. The team that runs the gallery are both artists themselves their names are Ashley Fontones and Jody Singer. Upon meeting with both of them I was able to schedule an interview with both Jody and Ashley which I bring to you.

Also, If you are a local artist looking for a fantastic place to display and hopefully sell your artwork, this is a great place to do it. Simply walk in and speak with Jody or Ashley and they will be happy to help.

I asked Jody to fill me in on the mission of the Origins Gallery and this is what he said.

“At Origins, what we also promote is the work and pride of that work within the artists to strive to do the best, and in the act of doing that best, you create the value within the works of art – a serious, yet often overlooked or misunderstood aspect of the works an artist produces.  The “best” can mean learning important mechanical fundamentals of the artform they choose to work with; to selecting subject matter to appeal to the ideal they have set for their process of opening their artwork to the world for admiration and sales, if that is their goal.”

“That value is carried into the gallery setting, which is what Origins ultimately serves the purpose for, and gives us this platform to showcase the works and this value to art collectors and admirers, interested buyers and, even critics.  Origins works to promote the artists, their abilities and the art they produce and encourages further growth, working with the various other gallery and arts agencies in the local and surrounding areas.”   (Jody Singer – Director, Curator, Coordinator )

Jody currently serves on the Board of Directors of Pocono Arts Council www.poconoarts.org and also am Director of St’ART Stroudsburg www.startstroudsburg.org  a Public Arts Project.  Origins Gallery is also a participating member of the Downtown Stroudsburg Business Cooperative, currently assisting with Stroudsburg’s WinterFest on February 12th and 13th, 2016 in downtown Stroudsburg, PA.  Their website is www.visitdowntownstroudsburg.com

Ashley Fontones, an extremely talented digital media artist,  is the other half of the operation. Together these two form a team with integrity and passion rarely found in this industry. I also had a chance to briefly interview Ashley and here is what she had to say:

“We created the Origins Gallery brand to be as versatile as possible, we can exist anywhere, in any venue, online, in the ether etc. The goal of Origins Gallery is to be a contemporary arts gallery, that embraces and encourages growth. We see every level of skill come through here, and the goal is to get everyone to strive towards that next step via art challenges and open creativity events such as Project First Step, our summer Open Studios and the soon to come Open Critique nights.”

“We love to especially work with emerging artists. There is a flurry of ideas happening, a motivation and drive that doesn’t exist in others, that we see in the emerging local artists. Those who never thought they could be accepted in society, find that once they create art, they are really accepting themselves. Watching Jody work with these people is incredible. I learn so much about patience and discipline that I didn’t get during my art school education. Origins was created to be home base for all artists, the “origin” of creation; We wanted artists to develop a sense of respect for the world of art, a reverence for it.”

“We wanted to introduce locals to the arts in a more accessible way. We said “You can start here, but you need to respect everything about this.” We try to push people to be as skilled as possible. This is good but you can do this better. We want people to embrace the challenges we put forth, and run with it. Many artists come down and communicate with us, and ask for opinions. This thirst for knowledge is inspiring the Open Critique night we plan on having. There is always room to learn more, and to push yourself. ” (Ashley Fontones, Co-director)

The town of Stroudsburg is once again lucky to have a gallery that almost any artist can have the opportunity to display, socialize, and sell their work.

Written by Jeremiah Williams.

 

I Diablo Arise

When bridges still aflame from yesterday melt away the joy of the night,
like hanging icicles in direct morning sun.

As the bitter cold touch of winters whipping wind rips the grip of warmth from the skin’s porous clutches.

Now the past decimates the present imprisoning perspective forecasting feverish lows and horrendous highs.

Now all Bear witness to the compulsion of destruction comprising of nothing but hate, comprised of only the chronic yearn to escape the terror of yesterday.

I Diablo arrive, bursting out of darkness once hidden far from light. Now separated by thin layer of ice I bring my great wrath upon thy life. And surely you will perish among the degenerates of the day, and remain as forgotten as one single grain of dirt on the frozen tundra of destiny.

A Walk In Verse Inverted

Pic of Inverted

We can not fight the ever fought
with righteousness alone.
We can not Win this war with sin
stifling many is any fools throne.

We’re only fooled by which we think
by already, soon, and when.
Yet blindly  trust for we know in our soul
where we are going each time again.

But oft when in past or future
are minds are most always boldest.
We remember things not as they were
these stories do uphold us.

With excuses and lies we paved our ways
never wanting to leave our grave.
Yet now we have our own rewards
and paradise lost we grieve.

Prison walls are grayed with greed
mates are those down lower.
But now were all pinned here together
crowned with thorns of power.

For heaven cursed us equals now
equipped to strike our pain.
If I can’t win then we all lose
unless were air born again.

An Iron Clad lock forged with fear
lies become our friends.
At least ,we think,  its over soon
then find there are no ends.

For time stands still for those who suffer
from Inability to speak.
Those gifts which we had once received
now only make us weak.

But there was a key buried long ago
in a place all men but forgot.
I will remind thee only once again
where it is and where its not.
It lies just beyond the furthest reaches
even closer than your skin.
You put it there yourself you know
upon deciding life unkind.
In the last place they could steal from you
the darkest corner of your soul.
Hidden in bones left by the beast
such a long long time EGO.

One more hint if you’re still stuck
on where to find its faceplate.
Concealed in time beyond your fate
the transformation invites an evil place.

By now its buried so deep beneath
the soil of your intentions.
Alas fear not, and don’t lose hope
a path so old none mention.

Just remember it was you alone
decided where to hide it.
Where it could stay indefinitely
unspoiled by the band of pirates.

You,  yes You the only one
another will never know.
Where you entered the cave
when you lost your way.

And the places that you’d go
Succumb to concrete prison walls
made green with all your envy.
Things that all those people have
were stolen in the frenzy.

Ideas and our delusions
are constructed out of horror.
Which may not be our very own
when off the path we falter.

For we see NOT,  without compassion
whats lurking in the dark.
Only to find our own reflection
a mission to embark.
We may some day walk high on heels
we may some day tread deeply.
But no matter where we aim our minds
our souls shall follow discreetly.

We give such trust to this and that
we grip to what we thinketh.
All we’ll ever know is parts
were missing all the linkage.

Without ever a hint of doubt
we need not double-click.
For its necklace we can’t live without
is choked around our neck.

For all the while we live in space
we truly are but one.
Dismay has found an opening
survival has begun.
We try too hard to wash our wants
in anointed oils from heaven above.
We mistake the righteous for the right
then doubt our own direction.
All have but one true desire
that surpasses all retention.
All will gain what’s wanted most
yet never know what best.

HAH!

Theres something spinning in your mind
a plan is in the works.
We’ll probably never come to know
why its built of things that hurt.

Since pain is now the one way left
for us to get caught up.
We self inflict the horror show
which spills out all our cup.
The things we’ve seen so far are worse
than anything we’ve known.
That which you read in comfort now
take heed its warning soon.

I hope this message finds you still
but begs to uncover anything ill.
Each and every person here
desired one foe to kill.

So, to gain everlasting peace
in this life and the next,
is easier than you think my friend
one need not be perplexed.
The answer is inside us all
no instruments can detect
Once you decide you’ll go anywhere
there’s no place you’ll need to quest.

May the answer be the one you need right now
when you find yourself at rest.
— Peace —
JW

love poem #9

She lies to you because it draws you in
fights with you and always wins.
Argues when you need to be humbled
without her you’d be in deep trouble.

She tests you when your feeling down
To make sure that you’ll stick around.
She’s the only one who truly knows
What you’ll need to make you grow.

He’s there for you with foolish pride
With all his might, stands by your side.
Even though you don’t know why
His gaze to you lifts you to greater heights.

He loves you although his way is lost.
Never jealous because he knows the cost.
He wants to learn what makes you proud.
He wants you to smile and laugh out loud.

When she decides to change her mind
She does it to build your strength inside.
When she’s out of reach and out of touch
Thats not the time to talk too much.

When he decides to stay out late,
forgets about all times and dates.
Let him learn from his mistakes
Let him fall flat on his face.

If you love each other, thats all it takes.
Be in it for as long as the journey takes.
Carefully tread, don’t judge mistakes.
Because its you who’ll fall another day.

If its written in the stars you’ll be together just as you are
But if its not meant to be, you must let go to be happy.

May you be blessed with happiness in all your entanglements,
May you learn your lessons only once or twice,
May you learn how to love each other,
May you never need to seek another.

Yet another poem of Love…
Check back soon as love is always redefining itself.

So long

finished espresso

So long to yesterday, its merit remains

upon a white cloth a deep purple imprint has stained

So long my lost love, though your memories are fading

Ill cherish them long as I can without hating

So long to old friends, your actions brought lessons

which shape every day uncovering blessings

 

So long dear grandpa, a true legacy you left

your children and grandchildren are fighting their best

So long dear grandma, who was always most helpful

when no one else would scrape out the gravel

So long departed, I regret moving on

but to hold on too tightly only darkens the dawn

 

So long old worries, which now are called hangups

that prevent me from living right here and right now

So long ancient wounds which have chiseled my heart out

from the block it once was to the shape of a peanut

So long my youth, I will miss you the most

For the body Im living in pretends more than boasts

 

So long bad memories, which just misperceive

all of my life, you’ve been the worst thief

So long inner child, it has been good to know you

but the ideas you provided have been based on denial

So long old habits, its time that we part

that once you provided, now crushes my heart

 

So long old wounds, Ive paid more than my dues

I feel we can now part without forgetting my queues

So long old home, that served well to grow up in

but the one I have now, needs all my attention

Goodbye cruel world, Im leaving you now

I heading to wonderland to see about a girl.

River Blu – A Musical duo formed in the Poconos, PA

Barbara Reese & Jeremiah Williams playing guitar and singing at Shankara Restaurant in Bethlehem

A new musical duo has formed in the Pocono Mountains, located in Northeast Pennsylvania, named Blue River. The members of this musical duo are Barbara Reese and Jeremiah Williams. Both musicians play acoustic guitar and sing solo and harmonize.

Barbara Reese, a seasoned singer songwriter, has been performing for audiences for decades. Barbara blends originally written songs with other classic artists of the 60’s, 70’s and today. Barbara’s originals stand firmly on their own as beautiful and poignant, while many of Barbara’s preferred cover songs are written by Joni Mitchell. With this approach, Barbara Reese assembles a fantastic set while delivering powerfully healing lyrics which nourishes anyone’s appetite for a warm acoustic evening. When she decided to add Jeremiah Williams it brought her performance to the next level.

Jeremiah Williams has been playing and writing music for over 25 years. He has studied music both formally and on his own. While in school at Northampton Community College, his professor Erin Mclelland, pushed him to go further into his musical career through learning the proper foundations of music composition as well as the art of guitar playing. Since Erin’s teachings, Jeremiah has been propelled forward into a more modern approach to playing and composing. Jeremiah plays tastefully in the background while supporting Barbara’s delightful singing and open guitar tunings.

These two artists combined form the new duo called Blue River. They have recently become a staple on Friday evenings at a vegan restaurant in south side Bethlehem, called Shankara. The chef, Wendy, has traveled the world searching for recipes for the perfect vegan cuisine. If your in the mood for a nourishing evening through healthy food and beautiful music, stop in to Shanakara on Friday nights from 6 to 9 o’clock.

For more info use this contact form and either Barbara or Jeremiah will give you a call to book your restaurant, venue, club, or private party.

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Venue Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Venue’ type=’select’ required=’1′ options=’Restaurant,Club,Private Party,Other,’/][contact-field label=’Phone #’ type=’text’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Malcontent – a poem

Project Gutenberg Pen and Ink

Unable to love
is the worst cut of all
temptation to offer
a soul beckoned call

while mistaken for greed
by fouled misdeeds
Intentions are purest
when innocence leads

though the lonely heart
makes frail decisions
while drowning in
a sea of derision

soon barely afloat
on ones own wishes
the mob and the jury
seek spectacle hurried

those people just hate
only lusting for power
they seek out the lesser
the tremblers the cowards

for the weak nerves awry
while bravado alluring
behind those soft eyes
their hatred is yearning

from a distance afar
may look dark or invisible
yet traversing the moat
of the castle invincible

to find once inside
the door shuts behind
never seen it coming
to them you are blind

NOW vengeance begins
each step you draw closer
karma clutches your skin
and seals the way in

no chance of escape
no hope for return
the ignorant ally
replaced with slow burns

and the path back to life
it never returns.

SO….

be cautious, be patient
they await your demise
its the job of the mob
to remove your disguise

once they lock on
theres no more reprise
so tread with great care
with mindful awareness

their burden to bear
is your’s in the end

let their demons go home

for they’ll never be friends

– With love –

Denial – Shame – Persecution – Victim – a poem

Best Sandwich Ever

Shame & Denial, Tempt Persecution.

Search and destroy

Search and rescue

Formidable confusion…

 

Kindness mistaken, True Love forsaken

Quickens to twisted and dark conversation

With Perception askew, direction untrue

The path that once was, is covered from view.

 

Behold the giver, in now different light

ill received, misconceived, aggressive to fight.

Anger and rage, control binds the victim

motivates the wicked, to ruin gods kingdom.

 

Decayed palace walls, now cracked and bare

draw anyone with knowledge of how to repair

to their own morbid demise and utter despair

crying “life isn’t fair” “Oh Life isn’t fair.”

 

Craving instant relief, for all who partake

Reprisal, en repose, a well deserved break

Lets the body feel happiness, While the heart starts to ache

accelerating faster the bodies’ decay.

 

Crashing to an end, a hopeful chapter can begin

yet midway through writing, realization sets in.

This its just the same story and nobody wins.

again and again and again and again….

I PRAY THEE, BREAK THE CYCLE

GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN

FOR A LIFE OF DENIAL

AINT WORTH A DAMN!

love poem #5

LOVE POEM

by Jeremiah Williams.
As beauty tears open unhealed wounds
empathy unearths deep roots from their supper.

Confusion begins,
cured with salt and gin.
sacrifice solves.

Scarlet solutions dissolve sin.
Prayers of concrete priests
borrowed from one counterfeit liar,
never making sense to a non-reformed sinner,
yet the guardian awaits to reverse the gates.

Hidden deep in the dark forest, a gilded cave exists.
With no source of fire  indifference persists.
the shadows tell stories of madness and bliss.
curiosity is shunned by empirical myths
when coal becomes diamond through pressure and time uncovers new meaning, a lifetime sublime.
Until our eternal slumber in a pit of earth,
its better to remember that once beauty was there.

As all unborn ideas swallow unbridled passion.
Only to uncover what lies underneath,
aren’t roots of the great oak,
but reinforced steel with tensile and girth.

While strength of the sword depends on heat of a hammer neither lover nor foe may disturb that which clammers.
either give seekers attention or murder what matters.

For now only you and your lover have matches.
needn’t thou worry about trials of fire

when fury and wrath replace non-hinged desire
hitherto realizing what fuels true devotion
never laid beneath, only floats upon oceans,
highest of endless tyrannical bliss enforced by beauty
in all of us,
all along.

Exploitation: Its Social Infection and Prevention!

Income inequality in the US

Exploitation is all around us.

Sure, we’re aware that people in powerful positions may take advantage of someone in a less powerful position. It’s just part of life right? WRONG! It doesn’t have to be part of your life! Everyone of us may currently be exploited. Of course we know that everything we read on Facebook may not be true or what we see on TV might not be completely accurate. Personally, I don’t see the nature of these things changing fast enough to warrant any time spent on writing article. However, I do want to bring your attention to a more important fact. How it happens in our everyday life and what we can do to stop it for good.

Anything or anyone that puts you down,

insults you or makes you feel poorly about yourself,is not doing it because they dislike you or even hate you. It’s because they need to make you feel badly about yourself, so you will act a certain way, that will only benefit them. The world is filled with people and things like this.

Commercials use supermodels to motivate you to spend your money

to buy their beauty products even though your already beautiful. Bosses insult and demean employees all the time, because they don’t want you to leave. It cost more money to hire and train someone new. This is why professors make their students feel dumb. Why  women work just as hard, or harder than a man and get paid less. This is why racism still exists and 99 percent of our county is poor while the rich capitalize off our misfortune. This is why women make their husband feel guilty about everything because they don’t want them to feel good enough to chose another mate. Some husbands are always putting their spouses down for the same reason. This is why after a day at the office we feel we need to have a drink or whatever, just to feel better about out day. And why so many of our citizens are addicted to drugs, gambling, sex, or anything that makes us feel good.

Facebook for example exploits your low self-image all the time

by showing you that wonderful new Ferrari that the neighbor up the street just bought. Yet, you haven’t enough cash to buy a solid meal at the restaurant you like. When we see that Jane or John finally got that promotion and we are working as janitors or waiters and waitresses cleaning up the vomit at 2:30 in the morning. It works because it makes us feel so lousy about ourselves that all we want to eventually see is someone suffering just like us. But, we never do, do we. The next post we read is about Suzy having the most beautiful baby you have ever laid eyes on. Or John going to the vacation destination you could never afford. This is called social stratification and it has secretly been running this country into the ground for hundreds of years. The time is now. It has to start with YOU! It has to start with each of our personal relationships and grow from there.

It’s not your fault you can’t get a good job!

You’re not too lazy to feed yourself or order dinner or go to the grocery store and get some food. You are brilliant, and they are frightened that you will show it. Therefore, the same opportunities are not presented to you. They are frightened that your brilliance will outshine their stupidity so fast that the job that pays them $250,0000 a year to ensure you don’t have access to a good school. They don’t want to see you succeed because they know that their ridiculously expensive lifestyle will come to a halt when we end up sharing the truth about society as it really is.

Human interaction is infused with hatred and violence

because exploiting others gets them rich, sells their products, keeps our government corrupt, lines the pockets of every lawyer with cash, and most certainly puts us all one step closer to complete human failure. Be on the lookout for situations or people that treat YOU like this and realize that is all about them and not about you at all. They want to control YOU. There is never a good enough reason to get upset or lose your temper, it only empowers them more because they know that getting angry clouds the very thing you need most, awareness. I’m not saying everyone should throw out there TV, get a divorce, quit their jobs, or move to Vermont. I am just saying, your worth more than that.

Be aware that you are worthwhile not worthless,

you are naturally beautiful, even though you don’t look like a Kardashian. And yes,even this message is full of manipulation because I am trying to exploit you to feel better about yourselves for my personal gain. It makes me feel good about myself to share this perspective with you.

Yes even I can admit that I am exploiting  you right now; to lead a more worthwhile life. Its because I understand the value of living in a healthy society. I would rather everybody be happy than just a small few. This is a wake-up call. If someone you know, your boss, your spouse, your friend, your family, or even your own Mother or Father, I’m reminded you that you do not have to take anyone’s crap. My ulterior hidden motive is that one day you will feel wonderful about who you are, and won’t need to put anyone down in order to rise above your own low self-image. This is my biggest wish for the world right now, today. I see nothing more important at this moment. Its ok, forgive yourself, it was never you to begin with. Go on now, it’s time for you to live your own life, the way you have always wanted to. Best luck on your Journey and never forget, “You ain’t got nothing that they ain’t got!! ”

 

Photo licensed by the creative commons for reuse with attribution. BrendelSignature at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Thailand – A Brief Cultural Interview

Map of Thailand

In Southeast Asia, located in the heart of the Indochina peninsula, lies a land rich with natural beauty and temples housing golden buddhas larger than a American two family home. Thailand, formerly know as Siam, is home to over 65 million inhabitants, with a population density of 127 persons per square mile. Thailand’s tropical climate is inundated with the most beautiful beaches and breathtaking mountains in the world. Due to its natural attractiveness, Thailand attracts tourists from all over the world, to swim in its paradise-like beaches, and witness its over 18,000 golden temples. However, like most tropical paradises, Thailand has a unpleasant rainy season coupled with horrendous monsoon winds.

In 2004, Thailand suffered the devastation of a natural disaster; A Tsunami. According to the International Wound Journal, over 800 people were killed and thousands of others hospitalized. The Thai medical infrastructure was not built to handle this many health issues. Hospitals became overcrowded and reaction time was poor at best (Prasartritha,Tungsiripat,Warachit, 2008).

In 2006 the Labor force in Thailand was around half of the population. Around 50% of those workers were engaged in some type of agricultural farming, 37% offered a type of a service, and the rest dedicated their time to industry. Because of the style of government Thailand has, there is only 3% of the entire workforce that belongs to a union. In 1932, a revolt created a paradigm shift, in the type of government. It was converted from military rule to a more peaceful style of gubernatorial control; a constitutional monarchy.

The Interview

For the purposes of research, an interview with a female resident of Thailand was initiated. A girl, who was temporarily located within the United, on a work visa, was asked questions regarding cultural differences or similarities, that currently exist, between the natives of Thailand and the United States. The informant, who will be named Patty; for the purposes of anonymity, grew up in Thailand and around twenty-five years of age. The following data was ascertained directly from a recorded interview, with informed consent, on October 20th, 2014, via audio recording. Due to the difficulty understanding some of the informant’s answers, a “best guess scenario” was employed.

First, Patty’s childhood was inquired about. Patty grew up in the Northeastern Province of Thailand called, Si Sa Ket. Patty described it as rural, and almost like a suburb of Bangkok, the Capitol. She admits to coming to the United States about 5 years ago in order to learn English. She has been employed by a host family to clean their home, and take care of their newborn child. When Patty was asked about her job her reply was, “People don’t want girls from other countries to take care of their child. They want us from Thailand, because we are the only ones able to teach proper manners to a child.” Since her family was not wealthy enough to pay for her trip to the United States the company who matched her up with the host family did.

It is difficult to determine the income of Patty’s entire household in Si Sa Ket, but being that she lived in a rural area, she and her family were likely to be middle class, or lower middle class. According to data gathered from the World Bank, poverty in Thailand has substantially decreased over the last few years. In 2013 only 7.3 million citizens, or 9% fell into the poverty category. In a recent newspaper article found in the Bangkok Post, in 2014, 345 Rolls Royce vehicles, valued at over 20 million baht were currently owned and operated. Out of the total number of 65,000,000 inhabitants only 0.001 % of the population of Thailand, could afford to pay for a vehicle priced at over 20 million baht. This indicates that only a minuscule number of the population are wealthy.

Patty then draws some comparisons of the cities she has been to. Patty says it is much cleaner in the US than Thailand. Patty’s explanation is that the US has more machines to clean public spaces than in Thailand. Patty then states, “Although it is much dirtier in Thailand, people there have a different mind.” Patty expounds by saying that the people in Thailand are more laid back, than people in US. She believes people in the US like to act dramatically, especially when it comes to money. She then says that people in Thailand are honest and genuine, while people in the US are not.

Next, Patty was asked, “Is there anything scary or exciting to you about Thailand?” She replies, “There is one thing that has happened in my life and it’s about Jesus.” Upon further inquiry, Patty reveals a sign that she received from Jesus verifying that he was real. She states that one day while she and her friends were waiting for a bus, she prayed the following prayer, “Jesus if you are real, make the bus come now and I will believe in you.” She says the next thing that happened was that the bus actually did come, even though it was not scheduled to arrive for twenty more minutes. Her friends told her they saw it too, so Patty is no longer a Buddhist, she is currently christian.

Found online in the student research center, at Northampton Community College’s library database, 95% of all the Thailand is buddhist. The other 5% are Muslim. There are also some Hindu and Christian communities. For Patty, although the decision to choose to believe in Jesus was based in hard evidence, it is doubtful that her family shares in her optimism of Christianity.

This story uncovered the most fundamental difference between the US and Thailand. In Thailand, the freedom of choosing ones own religion is not part of their culture. Speaking from experience, in the US, it is commonplace for a man or woman to adopt a religion of their own choosing in the United States after the child has become old enough. There are a hundreds if not thousands of different religion choices available in the United States.

Conversely, in Thailand, the buddhist religion dates much further back in time then Christianity. Therefore making Thailand a country rich in tradition, and ancient spiritual practices. Surprisingly, a country so rich with heritage, has many problems because of this cultural lack of faith based options.

Because Thailand is 95% Buddhist, there is much discourse between the Buddhist monks, and the 5%, Muslim population. According to an article in Time International, most westerners view Buddhism as a spiritual path to enlightenment through meditation and prayer, not violence and attacks. Regarding the American perception of Buddhism, the author, Hannah Beech writes, “Our image of a clash of civilizations does not include renegade buddhist monks”(Beech, 2007). A choice, which most every American receives, either when its his/her time to leave the parents domicile, or before, to practice a religion of their choosing, therefore has a proven peaceful effect on its citizens.

Focusing on the differences between society in Thailand and America. The largest distinction is that 95% of Thailand is the same religion. This creates social unrest and violence in the streets of Bangkok. On the contrary, in America, there are so many choices of religion, that it would be almost pointless for any one of them, to raise arms against another. This would just prove that religion to be hypocritical in the countries eyes and would probably be the end of the income for that branch of religion.

Another difference is the average amount of income varies greatly between these two countries. American earns more money per day on average than a Thai employee or business owner. Patty tells us that when she was growing up, her family was not paid per hour, but by each garment they designed. The more complex the design then you got the most money. Patty says,” Around 20 years ago you got 3 dollars, or 90 baht for a design.” This being true, it would take a person to design 1000 complex garments to make 3000 dollars, and making a dress by hand can take up to a few days or even a week. twenty years ago in America, one could easily earn forty thousand dollars a year working only 40 hours a week. Upon further discussion, a very uncomfortable topic was briefly discussed.

A typical American, if they have pets, usually end up caring for a cat at some point throughout their life. In Thailand, there is little concern for owning pets. Because of the population density combined with lower incomes, the average Thai is more concerned with putting food on the table, than buying food for a domesticated animal. Therefore many consume the animals that Americans have domesticated. According to Patty, cats are not respected or treated humanely in Thailand. In her words they are, “Kicked to the curb.” In many overpopulated countries in the it is common to eat the animals instead of care for them as pets.

After hearing this, the realization that the world is a very large and diverse place occurred. Through researching some photography of Thailand, most of the country appears to look like a paradise, of course, neglecting the busy city of Bangkok. Patty also states that the Thai people are generally more laid back than Americans, especially about money. She also believes that Thai people are more genuine than Americans she has met.

In her own words, she says, “Americans are good at acting, they can make you feel right along with them.” This may something to do with the amount of time the average american, from 2 years old, until death, spends glued to the television, watching actors all day long. Due to the warm weather, and scenic surroundings, Thai’s spend their time outdoors on the beaches or in the mountains, not in front of computers or TV screens.

Although there are many cultural differences between Thailand and America, people all over the world are still interested in being as happy as possible. Everyone everywhere, is in a constant search for their own version of happiness. Sadly, some people’s version of happiness is killing others because of their religious differences. In countries where there are many religions to choose from, there seems nothing more than quarrel between the two, barring the occasional violent outbreak. Although religious differences may become violent, in America it has never resulted in a large scale attack or civil war, incited from within its borders.

Wherever there are people, there will always be human will competing for control of the other. Part of our human condition is that we all secretly, or overtly, wish to be in control of other people, places, or objects. This is ever-present in all the worlds affair’s. Even, in a place as beautiful as Thailand, parents still have to force their children to go to school, and don’t want them mixing with other religions. With over 18,000 buddhist temples, some of them made from gold, there are still violent outbreaks involving renegade Buddhist monks and Muslims. In a land with mountain ranges topping off around 9000ft, thousands of people living near the beach were injured or killed, by the Tsunami in 2004.

No matter what location you are on this earth, there will always be problems within societies and different cultures. Overpopulation, poverty, childhood drug use, prostitution, communism, religious differences, and lack of resources, are just a few of the possible maladies a culture may endure. For a country like Thailand, with golden Buddhas, and beachfront property that only the richest Americans can dream of, the old adage; all that glitters is not gold, would be appropriate to best describe Thailand, The United States, and surely many other countries in the world.

References

Thailand (country).” Encyclopedia. World News Digest. Infobase Learning, n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2014. .

Prasartritha, T., Tungsiripat, R., & Warachit, P. (2008). The revisit of 2004 tsunami in Thailand: characteristics of wounds. International Wound Journal, 5(1), 8-19.

Maikaew, P. (2014, November 5). Rolls-Royce sales on a roll. Bangkok Post. Thailand. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2014, from http://www.worldbank.org/en/

country/thailand/overview

Beech, H., & Horn, R. (2007). Stupa and State. Time International (South Pacific Edition), (19), 51.

A New Era: Solidarity & Innovation

Capitalism is the most boring of economic systems today. Instead of a nation fostering invention, art, culture and creative ideas, its ends up being a race to push and pull the tides of cash flow. Neither intelligence or brilliance of any kind are needed here. Sadly, the people of the highest intellectual value in a society are treated poorly, while the poor and homeless live rent free. Something is very wrong here. One day together, as a nation, we can and will achieve solidarity and just purposes for everyone. I believe it is possible. I believe that one day we won’t have to exploit the tired, the hungry, the poor that we not too long ago invited to this country for promise of a better lifestyle. I believe in each and every one of you, wanting to wake up in your own town and not worry about things like mortgages, rent, food, shelter, energy costs, and a depleting ozone.

One day, we will be forced to make a decision. Either we can go on the way we are going and end in complete destruction of all basic human needs. Or, we can start to give credit where credit is due.

We can educate the lost ones. We can feed the minds and bellies of the homeless. We can begin to take care of everyone by relinquishing our systems broken hierarchies. We can let go of our familiar ideas of who’s who and what’s on the TV for dinner. We can believe in ourselves again, and take pride in knowing that at least our country won’t be the laughing stock of other nations news channels forever. We can start immediately.

WE can start by retiring those people who no longer justify the positions of power and income. We can start by recreating a leveling-mechanism which serves to redistribute wealth. We can begin by realizing that our system only truly serves the complete needs of its people, that are in positions of great power. It’s time to rethink the way we live. It’s time to rethink how and why we way pay the wrong people to perform tasks they are not suited for just because they know someone. It’s time to rethink the whole concept of what a nation is and what the values of a country, state, city, town, street, household, person should be. This will not work without you. This can only work with you. Thank you.