4. Art

I think that I’m probably right in saying that most young boys aren’t interested in keeping their rooms straight. Well, my son is no exception. Typically, in his room we’ll find towels and clothes on the floor, an unmade bed, or candy and food wrappers hidden somewhere. And because we haven’t quite figured out how to be those “perfect parents” who seem to make their children responsive to chores, it is usually only under a threat of suspended privileges that my wife and I are able to get him to clean up at all.


But there is that rare occasion, usually when he has something new to put in his room, that he will make the effort to straighten things up on his own. You see my son is a “stuff guy.” Like me, he enjoys his stuff — his stereo, his DVDs, his games, his drums, and his paintball gun.


It’s fun to catch him in the act of cleaning up on his own because it’s really the only time that he’s happy about making things look nice. I like to think about what must be going on in his head as he’s getting things in order. It’s during these rare times that he seems excited about integrating something new into his life. He must feel like he’s getting a “fresh start.”


We all like new things, don’t we? I just love picking up a new CD or a new book. The principle, I think, is that we enjoy finding something to refreshen or awaken our spirits. It’s just so easy to get caught up in that stale, day-to-day task orientation, and sometimes we need a blast of fresh air. But where do we go to find it?


I believe that it is the work of imagination that transports us to another frame of mind. A new song on the radio, a beautiful sunset, or a great new book – these help to guide us out of the rut and into the light of a new day. But it’s actually the work of imagination that makes the change possible at all. To witness beauty — to even see something as beautiful — requires the power of imagination.


Care must be taken to keep your imagination soft and receptive. And that means first maintaining the capacity to feel a sense of self-significance. Just as it’d be hard to climb a mountain carrying a hundred pound backpack, so is it hard to feel good about life when you have no confidence in your ability to live it well.


Days 4-6 Guide


This weekend concentrate on feeding your self-confidence and bringing your imagination to the fore. Get yourself organized, dress up, put on some nice cologne or perfume, start a new book, listen to some great music or begin planning for next week. The key here is to do things that you can do, to demonstrate your ability to succeed by practicing the habit of getting yourself out of the same old routine. If “changing your mind” means taking a drive in the country, then crank up the car.


© 2005, Levi Hill

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