“People will forget what you have said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel”. Maya Angelou said this. Another quote she will be remembered for was “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” She did indeed use her skills to leave people feeling different for what she wrote.
Maya was a well-known writer and poet. She was famous. President Obama gave her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. The good news is you don’t have to be famous to leave people remembering how you made them feel. It happens whether you intended it or not. If you care about someone, they will know. If you don’t really care, they will know. Kindness is a reflection. Kindness is our own art and poetry communicating how we feel. Our actions become the canvas, or the page, that the we put our feelings on. You don’t need a good reason to be kind. You just need to be kind.
Blaise Pascal is known for his quote: “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing”. Kindness is not an intellectual decision. It is one the heart makes without motive.
Would the artist or poet have a motive for what they produced? If their art was the result of the feelings they had, then it would be the feelings that produced the result. We don’t inform art. Art informs us.
Kindness would be a surprise to both the giver and the receiver. It is feeling creating an action.
Sitting by someone alone at lunch doesn’t require a plan. Taking someone home alone sick something to help with dinner, doesn’t require a plan.
So who really is the artist? Does it take a Maya Angelou to make a difference? Are nice words, a good story, or a nice painting going to change the world faster than kindness would?
The last post on this blog had a lot to say about a painting by Edward Hopper. He was so talented at finding a way to put loneliness into his paintings. You could feel the sadness. He said he declared himself in his paintings. So many folks look at those paintings and just “feel” like they understand. He was famous. His paintings are important.
What if at some strategic moment someone would have gone over to him and said, “Hey Eddy, cheer up”?
Is one kind of art, "paintings and words", of more worth than other kinds? Was Hoppers life exploring loneliness of value vs's the good he may have done if he cheered up?
"Kindness" is the art of the most worth.