You know, my daughter is becoming a source of inspiration to my articles. She shared this amazing story with me the other day and it inspired me a lot, that I want to share it with you.
Have you heard about a picture book called ‘The Dot’ – written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. The story goes like this and please remember, it is not precise, but my recollection of what my daughter passed on.
A little girl called Vashti is at school, and at her art class, her teacher encourages everyone to draw something. The class is almost over, but Vashti is still sitting glued to her chair staring at the blank piece of paper in front of her. She thinks she is not an artist and cannot draw. Her teacher encourages her to start with a dot or a line and see where it takes her. So, to prove the point that she cannot draw, Vashti puts a dot in the middle of the paper and hands it over to her teacher.
The next week when Vashti enters art class, she is surprised to see that her art teacher has framed her art work – the piece of paper with a single dot on it. She was astounded that her teacher had taken that much effort for a dot – the frame was actually elaborate with gold swirls on it. She felt bad for having been stubborn.
From then on, Vashti was determined to try her best. She painted and painted – a yellow dot, green dot, big dots, small dots. The blue mixed with red and she discovered that it made a purple dot. She kept experimenting and the colors mixed and created beautiful shades.
A few weeks later, at her school art exhibition, there hung Vashti’s art works – dots of different colors and shades. She was very proud of herself. A young child came up to Vashti and said ‘I wish I can be good at drawing – just like you’. And guess what Vashti said – ‘start with a line or a dot’.
What a great story! As parents, sometimes we don’t appreciate our children’s efforts. If I would have received a dot on a paper, that would have gone to the bin (of course discreetly)! But the teacher’s effort in appreciating a child’s dot, got Vashti to try harder and ultimately to create enough art work to have an exhibition.
For that matter, how much do we encourage ourselves to try? If children are stubborn, as adults we get lazier. Are you willing enough to experiment or are you stubborn like Vashti? What is your ‘dot on paper’ that you have been putting away for a long time? And if you started with a line or dot, where would it take you?
Be kind to yourself, take the first step and see where it takes you.
If this resonated with you or you have any feedback, I would be grateful to hear from you.