To be one, to be united is a wonderful thing. But, to respect the right to be different and the rights of your fellow-man is even better. We are here for a fleeting moment. What will you do with your time? For what do you want to be remembered? What mark will you leave on the world?
I have always wanted to take on the world and help others when I could. This has not always met with kindness. Yet, I don’t give up. Some have questioned my motives, thinking I do this to as a means to gain attention…not so; others think I do this for personal gain, not so. I choose to help others because I want to. Also, because when I was at my lowest point, someone was there for me to lend a hand. Someone cared enough (without knowing who I was) to show me kindness, to tell me I was worth something and that I was somebody. I know how that kindness feels and how that kindness can change a person. I want others to feel that as well. I see it as a gift I am allowed to give another human being. It brings me great joy. I don’t see it as penance, for I have done nothing wrong. I have a mental illness and I have those low times where I need help.
I don’t how much time I have left on this earth. What I do know is that I want to make every moment count. So I focus my time on my family and friends. I also try to help as many people as I can. The way I do that is through my art (stained and fused glass art). As many of you know, it is my art that helps me control my Bipolar and Anxiety symptoms (yes, I do still take medications). As many of you also know, sometimes medication isn’t enough. My glass art has saved me so many times.
Now, the main supplier of my glass, Bullseye Glass (and the glass industry at large) is under attack (for lack of a better word). I go to Bullseye for classes to learn new techniques and I absolutely love the employees there. They are kind, knowledgeable and they put up with my craziness! I remember the first time I went there for a class. Oh my goodness! I’m sure they had never met someone quite like me. I just asked a ton of questions. I think I was there for three hours and this was the day before the class! I was picking out glass, asking questions about how to make projects, questions about the sale in July, my goodness the questions from me seemed never to stop. They were very kind to me. Every time I call in, they seem to remember me. I don’t know if they really do, but they play it off well. I’ll take it! 🙂 Anyway, I think you get my point. They really care. So, I won’t go into detail about what the State of Oregon is doing to them because I don’t have all of the facts and I don’t want to spread more rumors. The one real fact is this: Their business is threatened. This effects not only Bullseye and it’s employees, but thousands of glass artists world-wide.
So, back to my original question: What mark do I want to leave on the world? I’ve already established that I like helping others. I know it goes beyond “like”. I feel compelled to help others. It’s become a part of who I am. Since this all happened with Bullseye, I’ve gone into full advocate mode sending out congressional contacts to concerned glass artists, working on a form letter (which must be cleared with Bullseye), fundraising mode to help them… The mark I would like to leave on the world is this: Whether I am remembered or not is immaterial. What is important is the work I do. If I have made the lives of people better, happier, easier, then I’ve made my mark. The world doesn’t need to remember me, I will just feel better knowing that I’ve made some kind of difference.
I will leave will you with your own question and yes, I would really like to hear from you.
What mark would you like to leave on the world?