Saturday, November 23, 2013

No Excuses

While flying yesterday I was catching up on my reading. I have been slowing working my way through "Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story" by Dame Daphne Sheldrick. I have only been reading a little at a time in the evening. I am now about 1/2 through the book. It is a detailed true story of a young woman born to British parents growing up in Africa. Her love of the land, the animals and how she cared for them.

I took a break from reading it on the plane to read an article in Southwest Airlines magazine. "because I said I would" - Alex Sheen - a young man who makes promises and keeps them. He has built a whole company around this idea. He believes, "Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others: it is the only means."

He lectures on making promises, he has been on TED talking about his belief. He can be found on Face Book, Twitter or his web site

Reading what this young man is doing, touched me, made me think and inspired me. This time of year I try to keep in mind all the good things that I have and try to pay it forward. I too believe in teaching by example. If I do something good, my family & friends, see me do this good thing, they will be inspired to do good things too. Even if it is a simple thing, like, buying the person behind you in line a cup of coffee.

Both the woman in the book and the young man are working at the same thing. Living by example, trying to get people to see that there are no excuses. We all make choices that we must live with but they are our choices. I choose to be an artist, I often give away my art, teach free workshops, and organize projects/shows. I choose to create wildlife and nature art because I believe we are all connected and by damaging one thing, we damage everything, this includes people, places, animals and the air that surrounds us.

So, I am going to make a list of No Excuses to remind myself of what I want to do, what I can do and how I can inspire others. What promises will you make, which ones will you keep?

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