My work is not free, it comes at a cost, of understanding, of kindness, of exploring a different way of being and doing, experimenting, daring to do things a little differently, challenging the world of money and everything being measured in cold hard cash. There is so much more to life than that.
Life itself is a free gift, whether we think it is a gift of God or a gift of nature, there is no charge for life, no rent to pay for being. And let’s be clear, life has more than enough challenges without making it any harder through monetising it. We all have to work at life, no matter who we are. We all know tragedy and have to learn to deal with it. At the very least, we all have to suffer the grief of losing loved ones, even in the most natural order, grand parents, parents and eventually we each have to face our own end, unable, at the last, to protect our children from their grief and loss.
Life is a challenge, we don’t have to make anything up or find ways to make it harder. Poverty is violence in a world of plenty. Sickness, disease and disability are real challenges that we all face to a greater or lesser degree.
No matter what anyone says, we exist through cooperation, surrounded by, and dependent on, things we have no part in making, totally reliant on the skills of others and the entire body of science, technology and human exploration and development over millennia.
There is no such thing as someone who is self made, that is a ludicrously ignorant vanity. Most of us wouldn’t know how to make the shirt on our backs or the fabrics we wear, let alone a can of beans or a motor car or even the simplest medication or surgical procedure. Every moment of our lives we depend on others. The entire body of human knowledge is too vast for any one person to know it all, ever.
So why am I giving my work away? Because I needed to find a better way which did not involve money, because there is so much else to explore in which money grubbing just gets in the way. I am no stranger to a frugal existence, I’ve had plenty of practice in 70 years. So I have to watch the pennies. So what? I shouldn’t have to, having paid into my pension pot all my life, but it’s a rigged system and Britain has the worst state pensions in the developed world, and the highest pension age . It is a political decision that I have to live frugally, but why should that dominate my life in my few remaining years? I have better things to do, like living, a non trivial matter on this dear little planet I call home.
Oh, and you know what worrying about money did for me and my mother before me, apart from making us miserable? Precisely nothing.
Money has had me surrounded, you’d think it was the very stuff of life. Bills, insurances, adverts, consuming, success (or failure), making it in the world, achievement, ambition, security (insecurity), it’s there in every aspect of my life. Hounding, pounding and merciless. The worlds media worships wealth, and the wealthy, above all. Who can decide when they have enough? Who can be content? Who can have peace of mind? I’ve been held in thrall to money and economic slavery and the only way out was to change my own mind and challenge the orthodoxy and take positive steps to change my life and throw off my own chains.
Reaching a Conspiracy of Kindness has been a very expensive process, it’s taken 69 years to get here. I am not giving my work away for nothing, I’ve paid a terrible price to begin to liberate myself from economic slavery. I can never be entirely free of it, the whole of humanity is in thrall to it. Even, and especially, the super rich, who cannot grasp the idea of enough. They say, “You can be rich just like us if you try hard enough.” I say, “No thanks, enough is better than a banquet.”
I am not an exceptional person, I have nothing in me that isn’t common to all people, it’s just a matter of focus and priorities. I have throughout my life discovered the life changing power of kindness, and now that’s all that matters. I work gently on my little dioramas, I cannot produce them in any numbers and nor do I have any desire to. Each one is lovingly made for someone else to enjoy. They go only where they are wanted and they carry my love of making with them and they carry with them such kindness as I’ve discovered in life. That’s a little bit of real magic which touches people’s hearts. And that is all the reward I need in being creative and passionate about life.
Keith Lindsay-Cameron. 22 February 2021.