Earlier today, a Facebook friend posted a simple request. “Tell me something good,” she said. I’ve been watching responses come in. It’s a fascinating informal sociological study.
Some of the responses have been genuinely inspiring. Some have been silly, which is its own kind of inspiration. And some, more than I would have expected, have been focused entirely on the responder.
It’s good that so-and-so is older than me, for example. Or it’s good that I’m doing something nice for someone.
Those things aren’t bad, but I feel like there’s something better about finding good outside of yourself. In many ways, that’s the goal of art. To find goodness in the world – in other people, in nature, in the ebb and flow of things – and bring it to light.
Can you imagine an artist who only seeks to highlight what she thinks is awesome about herself? An artist whose sole goal is to convince the world that he’s kick-ass?
(Basically, can you imagine more artists like Kanye West? And . . . I just threw up a little in my mouth.)
Isn’t it better to focus on the goodness outside ourselves? To turn our attention to that which is lovely about the world beyond who we are? To allow that goodness to inspire us and lead us to be better people, rather than just patting ourselves on the back?
I think so.
If you’re up for it, tell me something good in the comments below. Something good that isn’t about you.