As I searched, with little success, for the right illustration for this post, I remembered The Storyteller, a print I purchased in a Seattle mall during an art sale more than thirty years ago and that was the end of the search.
The look on the fairy's face as she gazes at the storyteller is what this blog is all about.
I saw the same look on Joe Bonamassa's face as he described how he felt when he first heard Eric Clapton. As he told the story, he was standing on the stage at the Royal Albert Hall, an ambition he'd held since being inspired by Eric. Then he introduced Eric Clapton, and the two performed Further On Up the Road together for a packed house. Take a look:
As I watched the video for the fourth or maybe fifth time, I thought of the first person, outside my immediate family, who inspired me as the Storyteller inspired the Fairy and Eric Clapton inspired Joe Bonamassa. Her name was Ms. Tillman and she was my first grade teacher. Had it not been for her, I'd not be able to write this post because moments after being dragged into her class by my mother, I made up my mind that I'd die before I'd let that happen again.
As I look back almost sixty-years to September 1947, I realize, not for the first time, that Ms. Tillman knew how I felt. She understood the resolve behind my commitment to never return to her class or any other class even if it meant death. To her credit, she didn't decide to put my resolve to the test. Instead, she showed me the value of reconsidering my vow, and she did it in a way that made it easy for me to understand and take a different position.
That's what a person who cares does for one they care about. First they make it clear they understand your position, and then they show you other possibilities.
Now go out in your world and inspire someone.