Unforgetting – because people have forgotten how to draw
“When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told here I worked at the college – that my job was to teach people how to draw.
Share stared back at me, incredulous, and said, ‘You mean they forget?”
– Howard Ikemoto.
When you’re ready to unforget, I’ll be right here.
I want to ask you two very personal questions today.
The first, what are you afraid of doing?
The second is, what don’t you know how to do?
There are many answers.
But I’m curious if there are things we never learned to do, or if we simply forgot.
Children don’t lie big.
I was at a marvelous dinner party where some friends relayed a story. Their daughter had a little trouble with one of her friends at pre-school. The friend had told their daughter that she wasn’t allowed to play with her on her mother’s orders.
Their young daughter, with all the naive innocence of a child, decided to take matters into her own hands. At pick-up time, she approach her friend’s mother and asked:
“Why don’t you want your daughter to play with me? What’s wrong with me?”
The mother called MY friends apologetically, saying she’d never said that to her daughter … “children make up the craziest things”.
Over our dinner-time discussion though, we concluded thus: Children rarely concoct lies of that magnitude.
Look at the world through the eyes of a child
These girls are great friends to this day. I find it a marvelous yet humble story.
Again, did we never learn, or did we just forget?
Maybe all the brave and playful things we want to learn don’t need to be learnt at all, they just need to be unforgotten.
That might give you confidence – you have done them before.
I wrote about this in Gillage. Infants become walkers and talkers unconsciously, without setting themselves the goal. Infants live in bliss, getting along with other children regardless of age, sex, race, gender or any of the other trivial dividers.
They think Without-the-Box. They have no assumptions at all. They are our most creative thinkers and they perform for an Audience-of-None.
As we get older, we gain self-awareness… enough to teach us shame, assumptions and fear.
The one thing most of us forget
I have my own fear. Yes as the opening quote infers, people have forgotten how to draw when they leave their infant and childhood years.
But my fear is that they have forgotten how to be their authentic selves. To look at and recognise themselves in their own reflection.
So when you’re ready to unforget, I’ll be right here.
Who do you think of when you read this? Would this piece ‘open a door’ for someone you know?
If so, don’t forget to share it with them. The best way to unlock a thousand doors for you is to open doors for others.