Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Horses don’t tweet. Written By: Attila Farkas “I believe that it is important to use social media as a tool and not as a constantly dripping intravenous digital chocolate.” Most of you may not remember the days when you had to walk to your friend’s house if you wanted to talk to her or him. You had to call out his name, wait for the dog to stop barking, call out his name again and hope that someone has heard you. When I’ve lived in Hungary over fifty years ago, riding a bicycle, or a horse, or simply walking to meet with someone was the norm. Today, Facebook, Twitter, texting or chatting can connect you to anyone instantly. The speed of communication can save lives; however, it can rob you from delivering a well-thought-out message that crystallized during that five-minute walk to your friend’s house. When was the last time you thought about a tweet or a Facebook post? Your thoughts are processed much faster than you can speak and your first impulse to reply to a text or a tweet may not be the best one. The continuous flow of virtual communication and the feeling of instant satisfaction from a like on Facebook or a favorable tweet can be just as addictive as coffee, sugar, or junk food. Social media is like fire. You can use it to cook amazing meals or you can use it to burn down the house. I use social media to cook amazing meals, to educate people, to light up someone’s spirit, build a network of knowledge, and also enjoy it as entertainment. The secret to using social media effectively is that you have to unplug, unwind just as often as you log in and stare at the screen or your phone. Go for a walk, talk to someone face to face, without holding your phone in your hand, waiting for the next groundbreaking text or status update to arrive from your friend, Jillian. When the text arrives she is just letting you know that she had to puke from the organic protein powder drink that you have suggested. I think a course should be offered that can teach people how to separate from their phone and focus on what another human being has to say. You should master social media, but don’t let social media master you. When was the last time you have sat quietly and consciously tried to focus on slowing down your racing thoughts? Look at the clouds, the trees, the snow, or another human being and just give your attention to the present moment. From this stillness and quiet relaxation, you may have a thought or an idea that will seize the opportunity to break through the sub-conscientious and present itself. Now you can go back to your computer and tweet about it or write an article like this. Don’t let electronic pollution and wireless congestion confuse your thinking and cloud your judgment. Fifty years ago that ten-minute walk or+ bicycle ride to meet someone automatically presented the opportunity to distill your message and select the best option. You have to find the same opportunity today in the form of exercise, gardening, meditation, or just listening to another person without holding a phone in your hand. Remember, horses can’t tweet, but sharks can. If you don’t believe me, just Google it.
A Thank You Letter from the President of the United States Written By Attila Farkas
When I've received a thank you letter from former president Bill Clinton and an autographed picture, along with some excellent advice from Dr. David Suzuki; I knew that the project I have started was something special. It was not an overnight success; I started it with painting an oversized oil painting titled Mother Earth. It’s not what you think, it’s not peaceful, and it’s not something you would put in your living room. If a picture is worth a thousand words, this painting was worth a million words and a million dollars. I hope you are intrigued and would love to see the painting and allow me to tell you a short story about how this all started. I promise it will not be very long. I have graduated from Teachers Training College with a double major, biology, and physical education. I was also a karate instructor and considered myself somewhat of a tough guy. As far as I know, tough guys didn't paint oil paintings or got too involved in art in any shape or form. If you would've told me in the eighties that one day I will pick up a paintbrush and create landscapes and other modern paintings, I would've laughed in your face. It all started when one day I accidentally switched over the channel to Bob Ross and his popular lessons on oil paintings. He was painting landscapes, snow-capped mountains, pine trees, and lakes. I was instantly hooked on the show and a few weeks later I bought a paint-set from Bob Ross and started painting landscapes. A few months went by and something has changed... I had an inspiration or a vision so compelling that I knew painting landscapes was just a warm-up. First I've made a giant frame and stretched the canvas over it. It was over six feet tall and five feet wide. Big enough for the concept I was working on. When I displayed my artwork at a local art show in Caldwell, New Jersey my Mother Earth painting stopped many people in their tracks and some visitors stared at it for several minutes. Then they came back and stared some more. The painting has the potential to express the concerns of global warming, environmental degradation, and the threat of wars around the globe in a way that everyone can understand. Instead of explaining what it is, I will let you decide for yourself. Here it is. The title is Mother Earth and I bought the copyright for it in 1991. The following posters were born from the same concept and in 2002 I've organized the first International Environmental Art contest on It was a tough battle to convince companies to sponsor artists that can create solution-oriented digital media with an environmental theme. The first cash prizes came from my own pocket, and the contest was judged by a Toronto based design company, Pylon design. After the initial success, I knew I could not stop. I had to create a contest, where grade school students, high school students and even those that attend colleges and universities can compete for prizes and recognition. When they create and submit solution oriented digital media the contest can serve as a catalyst to develop new ideas and speed up hundreds of existing opportunities. I don’t want global warming to high-jack other significant challenges that humanity is facing. We should not focus on global warming alone. The biggest problem with global warming is... The warming part. The word warming itself does not describe or represent the complexity and dangers resulting from the toxic by-products of worldwide manufacturing processes, fossil fuel burning, transportation, and other man-made production. Mother's milk is warm, or if it is not you should warm it up. Warming up to a new idea, or under your favorite blanket, next to a campfire. Butterflies warm up their wings in the morning sun before they collect nectar from your garden. Warming does not rhyme with Hydrochloric acid, Mercury, Sulphur dioxide or Hexachlorobenzene. I believe that the next breakthrough can come from a ten-year-old with an open mind and a vivid imagination. I want to give kids and young people a chance to improve their own future, using the unlimited power of creativity and digital media. Millions of kids carry the unbroken spirit of hope and love in their heart and they think they can manifest the fruits of their imagination. Let’s give them a chance and I know that the next contest will benefit us all.