This summer I traveled to Europe and a few WWII sites. While walking through a concentration camp outside of the city of Prague, I wondered how we got to such a low place as humanity.
The first thought I had about the Holocaust was that it all began with privilege. That privilege was fed by propaganda and media. It lead people to think that they were somehow more important than others. I then realized that if you break down the extremes of what was happening during that time, you’ll find that they weren’t very extreme.
I thought about what makes us human.
Was it the fact that we speak languages? Was it that we live in houses? Or ride bikes? Or take buses? What makes us human?
I'm not sure I know the answer, but I think it lies somewhere between having the ability to choose and making the right choice. Being human is realizing that we are all different and that difference makes us human. Being human is sneezing and a stranger to your side saying 'bless you'. Being human is laughing. Cheering. And crying. Especially when that's what the human closest to us needs. It's having heart for others that makes us human.
I thought about our country today, the media and how blessed and privileged we are to live in a place that isn't a war zone. I thought about those who don't have the same luxuries as we do. Those that are fleeing their country in search for safety. I realized that by turning away these refugees we are committing the same crimes that those in the past did when they closed their doors on Jews. And I thought, have we forgotten that we are all human? Have we forgotten what makes us human?
I wanted to create something to remind people of just that; what makes us human. Anatomically we all have one, but not everyone has heart. That's when Hearts for Humanity started.
From there I kept making prints and decided to sell them at $10 a piece. Every heart, each a little bit different from the other is meant to remind others of our humanity. Every print sale is donated to the International Rescue Committee, a national non-profit that works with helping the refugee crisis.