Please, be kind. She worked so very hard – and found such delight in creating this little masterpiece of valentine’s day collection. She thoughtfully considered the colors for the flower. She placed each sticker just so. She wanted to make something beautiful, and she gave a beautiful effort.
But, she’s five. And her five-year-old self cannot compare with the mommies and the daddies and the subdivision of Pixar that fabricate the official versions of the most recent character of choice. Hers won’t look like those.
And, I fear, she will begin to equate her process with those products.
Please, world. Don’t let her confuse the two.
One exists for the purpose of making the world more beautiful; it engages the soul with the eyes and the hands and the heart. The process of creation is enough.
Products are nice. They can win awards, make millions of dollars and even lighten the spirits of those who own them. But after you buy enough products, you will someday find that you can never have enough of them to fill the space that the process of creation can regularly sustain.
And so, I’m sending her off to school with her work of art. Her daddy helped to tape on the paper, and we offered the supplies, but the box she’s going to set on her desk is an original, from only her own hands. I’m both glad and miserable that I won’t be there when she begins to look around the room at the other creations. I know she might be disappointed that hers doesn’t look like anyone else’s.
What I’m asking, world, is that you remind her: it’s not supposed to. The work that we offer out into the world is as original as our own fingerprints. That’s the point. To give our own perspective, in a new form.
So, please, world. Celebrate. Celebrate her efforts. Celebrate her five-year-old success. Celebrate your own creations, not because they look like something you once saw but because it’s an expression of yourself, it is your work. Show her the way to a creative life is to keep creating, not comparing.
Thank you, world. We can do this. Together.