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Staying Sane in an Insane World

One of the more interesting (and surprisingly common) reactions people have, upon entering our Arte for Elephants booth, is tears.

Navaan and Sri Prae at Elephant Nature Park by D. Rutter

I can’t remember ever doing a show where someone, clearly overcome with love for elephants, hasn’t looked at my elephant portraits and started crying.

Sometimes their eyes well up, while they angrily brush their tears away as if to say, “ Nope, I am not gonna go there today, I am not gonna feel this”.

Occasionally, it’s too overwhelming and they turn around and walk away.

As much as I would love to think that it’s the brilliance of my artwork that is driving this, I think a far more likely explanation is the volcano of compassion certain people feel for other beings.

Hot on the heels of the tears, usually comes the statement, “ How on earth do keep going?”

Yeah, we get asked that a lot.

How on earth do any of us keep going in this mixed up and wacky world? I don’t know about others, but the only thing that works for me is to lean IN, and by IN I mean all of the way in. To heck with the “big picture.” If you want to stay sane in a completely insane world, you gotta peer into the personal, lunch sized, micro, mini, bite sized portion that is within an easy arms reach.

It’s time to get SMALL.

Don’t worry about the entire elephant-poaching crisis, try to get a pair of new boots for one ranger in Africa.

Climate change got you down? Start a petition to get the companies you love to divest from fossil fuels!

Plastic pollution overwhelming? Make a pledge to swap out one thing a week that is made of plastic and start bringing reusable containers when you eat out.

Ultimately, if you are busy doing your little bit of the work, and others are busy doing their little bit of the work, change will start to happen.

At the end of the day, if every individual makes changes, and continues to push for change for causes they care about,

then the odds are pretty good that no only will we all feel better, but we will go a long way to healing the planet and her lovely species.

Thyra Rutter ,Artist & Founder of Arte for Elephants, a business that raises money for elephant sanctuaries through the sale of artwork. Thyra is known internationally as "The Elephant Portrait Artist". Her work can be found at

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