The world is full of negative people. People who say it won’t work or it isn’t practical, or no one will like it. People who begin every conversation with why something is wrong or will give you a warning. While I definitely want to respect the opinions and feelings of others, I can do so without agreeing with them verbally. I’m not out to prove them wrong or to argue. One of our family mottos is “Practice being kind instead of being right.” Meaning you don’t always have to prove your point. Life isn’t always a competition of who’s right and who’s wrong.
I began to work out at a local gym this week, and, while exploring some of the machines with a new friend who has become my work out buddy, a woman (not staff) approached and warned us not to overdo and went on to tell us how she had pushed herself and ended up with some injuries. She went on and on about how we needed to be careful. We listened, spoke politely and thanked her. I didn’t need to tell her we aren’t idiots, and we aren’t pushing too hard, blah, blah, blah. (Although I was very tempted). We just smiled, and when she was gone, went about doing what we were doing…But in my head, I was thinking, “Well, SHE was a ray of sunshine!”
People are complaining a lot these days. And they adamantly (and sometimes loudly) want you to listen and agree. Everyone has a strong opinion about mask wearing, vaccinations, social distancing, politics, global warming, etc. And it seems most of the conversations these days are centered around arguing and proving a point.
One key principle I advocate in teaching art is to learn to see beauty in the world around you. See in technicolor and hear in surround sound. When you begin to “see like an artist” you notice beauty when others seem to pass it by. Have we lost that ability since Covid? Have we gotten so overloaded with the sensationalism and negativity we see on the news that we have thrown a shroud over the beauty we used to see clearly?
As an advocate for expressing Creativity, I want to challenge each of you to remember who you were before Covid hit. I want to remind you how vivid the colors or our days used to be, how listening to the sounds of choirs singing, birds chirping, wind chimes tinkling and children laughing was magnified because we actually noticed…..deeply.
I hope when I walk into a room, I am a shining light to others around me, not a damper on someone else’s parade. I’m not out to prove a point about our society. I want to paint the day with color through laughter, song, encouragement and positive influence. Perhaps it is time to remember how it was before we were told to expect the worst. I can’t think of a better way to brighten the canvas of our future.