Encouragement: A High Calling

"From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things..."    Proverbs 13:2

Another kind of influence (see The Process Of Originality), and to me the most important kind to a creative person’s life and work, is encouragement. I don’t discount the other artistically molding experiences of course--they are important--but to touch someone’s heart to the degree that they are inspired to go further is indeed a high calling.

Friends 2 by MTMcClanahan

I look back in regret sometimes and think about the things I’ve said just as a joke. To someone struggling to accomplish, struggling to go further, the humor is lost; it is, in fact, taken to heart. I used to think that my words didn’t matter, that what I said would not be taken seriously. But, truth is, words do matter. We are a sponge, even as adults we soak in what people say.

If you lose your vulnerability to being hurt by criticism, you lose the very vulnerability that makes you able to be an artist.  Julianna McCarthy 

I know as artists we are supposed to try and shield ourselves from negativity, but that is impossible to do entirely. To be human is to be vulnerable.

I look back also and think about the people who have encouraged me. There have been many and I am thankful beyond words for these wonderful souls, and because of their influence, I strive to do the same in my life

Recommended Reading: Kirsty Hall's Up All Night Again

MT McClanahan

An artist and perpetual thinker, MT McClanahan finds inspiration through connecting ideas across a broad range of topics. He especially enjoys philosophy and how art and life interconnect. He is the founder of TPT and his paintings can be seen at mtmcclanahan.com.

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2 Responses

  1. roopadudley says:

    Such a heartwarming post. Yes, we must indeed be careful with our words. I struggle with it on daily basis. Your post actually reminds me of a sweet poem that I deeply cherish by Edgar Albert Guest called “COMPENSATION”. Have you read it before? If not, here it is.

    I’d like to think when life is done
    That I had filled a needed post.
    That here and there I’d paid my fare
    With more than idle talk and boast;
    That I had taken gifts divine.
    The breath of life and manhood fine,
    And tried to use them now and then
    In service for my fellow men.

    I’d hate to think when life is through
    That I had lived my round of years
    A useless kind, that leaves behind
    No record in this vale of tears;
    That I had wasted all my days
    By treading only selfish ways,
    And that this world would be the same
    If it had never known my name.

    I’d like to think that here and there,
    When I am gone, there shall remain
    A happier spot that might have not
    Existed had I toiled for gain;
    That someone’s cheery voice and smile
    Shall prove that I had been worth while;
    That I had paid with something fine
    My debt to God for life divine.

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