We’ve gotten to the point where we double check quotes before we use them. Many quotes attributed to others turn out to be false. They never said them or someone “refashioned” the real quote. An interesting article from the New York Times explains the problem.
I wanted to use a quote attributed to Gandhi. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Sorry, that’s not exactly what he said. The New York Times article wrote he did say something like this.
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”
Try fitting that on a bumper sticker!
What brought the whole thing to mind was a thought I had while, yep, you guessed it, walking Maxie.
Years ago I remembered reading that if someone or something is bothering you, there are only three things you can do.
CHANGE YOUR LOCATION
“Get out of Dodge,” as my dear departed Uncle Philip would say.
The snag with this solution, of course, is that, in most cases, problems tend to follow one no matter where they go. Might this be why 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end up in divorce?
CHANGE THE OTHER PERSON
Hmmm…we have only one question about that solution. How has that worked out for you in the past? Trying to change another person could be the reason for the 50% divorce rate for first marriages. How many people get married thinking they are going to change the other person?
It seems that the only solution that may work is “being the change you wish to see.” Was that what Gandhi was saying?
Let’s apply this to painting.
We see a lot of people who aren’t successful with oil painting. They jump to drawing, or to acrylics, or they take up sewing. If one isn’t successful with one medium, don’t you think it’s silly to think those problems won’t follow them to a new one? I’m sure some folks have made a switch, and it worked out for them. It may depend more on whether they are running away from or running toward their goal. One works, and the other doesn’t.
Jumping from one teacher to another comes to mind. Of course, leaving an incompetent teacher for a competent one is a wise choice. How many, though, use the teacher as an excuse for an unwillingness to apply the disciplined study required to become a craftsman?
One won’t seek a doctor until they realize they are sick. More often than not by the time they do, the prognosis is not a good one. Or the treatment is more extreme than it might have been.
It seems, then, that the only successful change we can make in our lives is to ourselves. If we acknowledge that the one thing we have control over is us, we can begin to make a better world. That’s what Bill urged us to do. He knew that changing the world started with us. He also knew that art was one way to unlock the potential we have as human beings.
We know our students see the world with fresh eyes when they start painting. We see the fulfillment they get from painting because they tell us.
We all long to create beautiful things. Let us help you release your inner artist. If you’ve got the desire, we can teach you to paint — we promise!