As adults we seem to be more susceptible to negativity.To me, negativity is an infection that can kill a snowball faster than the summer sun. Well if you have never wanted to impact the world or never cared about making a difference on a global scale you need to realize that you don’thave a say in the matter. By mere default, your existence has already impacted this planet. Whether large or small, for better or worse, your presence has already changed the world in countless ways. So all I’m saying is let’s try to stay positive and start making it a better place.
I want to talk about what it actually means to make a difference. This is a topic I have struggled with for much of my adult life because, as an artist, I am constantly faced with a need to justify why I do what I do and why I should continue doing it. I feel that most people believe it is an impossible or even unimaginable feat,to have an impact upon the world but my vocation has forced me to look atthings differently and I would like to share that with you. Perhaps it is not only the artist, but the optimist in me as well, that would like to challenge how we define changing the world because I believe that it is not only possible but it is easier than we think.
How do we define changing the world in the first place? Is it by resolving conflict in war torn regions? Is it by finding a cure for aids or cancer? Is it by shifting political power through revolution? Or do we define it by ending famine in third world countries? These are just some issues most would consider when faced with the daunting task of changing the world and there was a time when we all thought this was possible. It was at an age before we were robbed of ourchildhood innocence and youthful optimism. However, somewhere along the line, we were are all spit out into adulthood as naked and confused as the day we were born and all of a sudden, changing the world became impossible.
Here is where I would like to ask you to look at your impact on the world from a different perspective. I want you to consider the task of moving a mountain. If everyone in the world chipped off one stone and moved it to a new pile, themountain would undoubtedly be moved. Now if only you picked up and moved one stone, is your contribution any less great? You have made the exact same impact on the earth yet because only one stone was moved, the impact seems to get lost. It may be lost to others but what I wish everyone could understand is that you have still changed the world.
It is easyto think that we have no impact on those around us, not to mention the world at large. With now 7 billion people on this planet, it is easy to feel small or like you don’t even want to contribute because it is seemingly pointless. What we all need to realize is that change is not as difficult as we think. We must first stop focusing on the “impossible” and focus on what is possible like moving one stone, instead of an entire mountain.
When I was learning to drive, my instructor said something that is much greater than simple driving advice and it has always stuck with me. He said: “where you lookis where you go. Don’t look at the pylon in front of you if you want to avoid hitting it.”
As someonewho is unable to stop making art, I have learned to look for, and enjoy, that which is possible and not the endless number of barriers in front of me. I cannot be discouraged by the fact that I am not the most successful artist in the world. If one day I get there, then that would be great, but if I only focus on that goal then I will surely be disappointed. Instead I focus on moving one stone at a time. If I connect with just one person, then I have had an impact on the world and my art has purpose.
Do you see where I’m going with this? If we all focus on what is possible then changing the world becomes easy. Instead of abolishing famine, feed one person. Instead of ending war, make peace with those you can. Some may call it being naïve but optimism can snowball into great things if we can allow ourselves to find purpose in every snowflake.