Ever tried to create something? To look down at a blank piece of paper, and turn it into a piece of magic? To look at a blank canvas and turn it into a world of living, dancing, color? Have you ever looked into the eyes of your baby, your child, and tried to imagine helping to shape this innocent, empty vessel into a full grown, well adjusted human being?

Scariest feeling in the world. To tell yourself, I will try to play G‑d for a bit. Try to pretend like I have something to say, like I'm worth something, like my perspective means anything.


Have you ever gotten past that first stage? Written that poem? Painted that painting? Invested in your child?

Feels great, right? Awesome. Amazing.

But then, you have this strange urge. You want to share your creation. You need to bring it into the world. You show your friend your poem. You put up your painting in the living room. You tell a friend about the school your child is going to.

And then you get that look. You know what I'm talking about. Starts off with a pause. Slight smile. Quizical eyes. Trying not to say something that might hurt your feelings. But then they go and do it anyway.

"It's... nice."


"Well, you might want to work on this... or, fix that... or, maybe you want to take a look at this spelling error."

Oy! You can feel your world crashing around you. All those thoughts, all those worries, they're coming to fruition. You really don't have anything valuable to share. You really can't be a good painter. You should probably put your kid up for adoption. It would be for the best.

Years go by. No more writing. No more painting. No more independently willed decisions.

But if we're lucky, at some point in our life we come across someone that thinks that we really do matter, we're really awesome, and they seem to like everything we've ever done or said. So you dust off that poem, that painting, that life, and you share it with that special someone.

And the look is different. Their eyes light up. They read, look, listen in total rapture. When they look up, they are blown away. They ask you what else you've created.

"What? Nothing else? You have to do more."

Um. Okay.

And you start to create. To write, to paint, to create music. Suddenly it doesn't even matter what form you're creating in. You keep creating and they keep asking for more, and you suddenly feel worth something.

Years later, you've created, you look at all your old writings and laugh at how juvenile they sound, you look at your old paintings, and you see how simple they were. You realize how many horrible decisions you made for your child.

For some weird reason, though, everything seems to have worked out just fine.

At first it doesn't make sense. As far as you were aware, bad artists were worthless. But back in the day you were a novice. Amateur hour. But that person that looked at your stuff, and she really loved it! Were you fooled all along? Tricked into eventually becoming someone worth talking about?

You come to the person, you ask her. She looks at you with a slightly amused smile and tells you, "Don't you realize you were always perfect? Always amazing – sparkling with infinite beauty? I was just blessed to be one of those people that could see it within you from the beginning. I was blessed to look at that poem and see the reality that everyone else was missing. Can't you see that? Can't you see you don't become something great, you reveal your greatness as you work harder and harder on yourself, bringing that greatness down to this world?"