In the past few years the brevity of life has smacked me square in the face over and over again. Dying doesn’t scare me. In fact, I’ve always found it somewhat intriguing. However, what does scare me is not getting to relay my gratitude to people who have changed my life before it’s too late. That’s why I decided to thank those who’ve had an enormous and unexpected positive impact on my life in a new and creative way.
I call it the “thank you doodle project.” A thank you note is nice, and I still include one for detail anyway, but sometimes words fail. Even when I write a beautiful note, it only takes about five minutes of my time. I wanted a new way to show people just how much their lessons and guidance mean to me. To do so, I started painting pictures to symbolize the lessons I was taught from each of them. (Keep in mind, I’m no Picasso and they’re not meant to be masterpieces.)
Thus far, handing people these images along with a thank you note has been terrifying and heartwarming. It has left me vulnerable and open to dialogue and feelings that I am normally not comfortable with. And because of it, I’ve finally been able to thank those who have changed my life for the better. And it was all because of art.
Some of my influences had no idea of their impact on me until the pieces were given to them. But after seeing them absorb the images and then look back into my eyes, it is clear that every single one of them got the message.
In a world that has an abundance of darkness, it is so nice to spread some light. Humility is the anecdote for so much ugliness in this world, and I hope to continue with this project as long as possible. I challenge you to thank at least five people in your life this week who have helped develop your character. Whether it be a teacher, friend, family member, boss or anyone who leads by example. Not only is it a freeing feeling, but you get to spread the love and give back to people who deserve it. Swallow your pride and laziness. Be kind and gracious. Give back and keep the cycle of generosity rolling. Paint more!!! Okay that’s all, jumping off my soapbox now. Stay golden.