How important is it that we make a difference when we create? And what does it mean exactly to "make a difference"? Does making a difference mean getting customers and/or clients? Does making a difference mean helping someone? turning someone on to opera, abstract art, poetry? Does it mean we must touch hundreds of people or just one?
When you decide to matter, it can be scary at first. Then you may feel slightly indulgent. Look at you - you matter! And if someone sees and compliments your work, your creativity, it can feel pretty good.
However, if we don't find a community of people to join - fellow artists, musicians, book groups - the decision to pursue our creativity can be a lonely path. Those same doubts and fears we banished at least briefly when we decided to take our art seriously can come rushing in to fill the void.
That's where making a difference comes in. To me, making a difference is as simple as connecting to other people. I think most of us fear being alone, unloved, and misunderstood. We wonder if anyone will like our singing voice or if someone may laugh at us for trying to dance again at 50. We question our decision to pursue the PhD in literature. We wonder if our story is good enough. But just finding that one connection with someone else, be it someone who appreciates what you do or someone who admires your courage to continue, I believe these connections are key to our success.
One way I make a connection is by playing piano in the lobby of the office building where I work. It isn't so much during the playing that I'm making the connections, but after. People I don't know who work on other floors will see me in the elevator and say "Aren't you the woman who plays the piano?"
What's even better is when the conversation leads to this kindred spirit saying, "I just started learning the guitar" or "my son takes piano" or "you can play the piano in the lobby? I play too but didn't know if I could play it."
At work, I've been wanting to start a community board of sorts for the building where people could post things about their interests; where people could meet to discuss art, music, entertainment, etc. Hearing each others stories and connecting on even the smallest level confirms how important our creative spirit is. By supporting each other and by letting our creative spirits mingle with their brethren, we make a difference.
We are all like little children, making art, singing songs, dancing lively. And like little children, we hope to make a difference, hope to making someone else smile, and hope to see our creative voices displayed proudly on the refrigerator of life.
What could you do to further your connection with someone else?
Is there somewhere you could display your work?
Is there some group you could join?
Could you volunteer to help with art, music, writing, dance?
What does making a difference mean to you?