Saturday, January 5, 2013

The courage to be average

Birds watercolor series

Today, I was reading a blog post about a little boy who wanted a purple controller and a big brother who stood up to defend his little brother (you can find the post here). Everyday, I witness the pressure the world puts on those who deviate from the formula.


Each society and its sub-groups have their own set of rules and expectations and those who drift from them, somehow appear threatening to those who do not.


I feel it is our own fears that make us feel so threatened by others' courage to be who they are. As I roam around the blog world, as I read the new year's resolutions and plans, I come to the conclusion that even the act of breaking them takes courage. It takes courage to quit, to be imperfect, to be average.

It takes courage to be free.

47 comments:

Francie M said...

I just finished reading "The Help" and couldn't help thinking of the women in each group when I read your post today. The amount of courage it took to either be a part of their group or to move outside of their group was astonishing. And I hadn't looked at it from that angle.

Buttons said...

I like your thoughts, I love being average.:) and the bluebird. B

Hwee said...

Beautiful painting! I am always amazed by those who feel threatened by others whom they perceived to be different. Life is much more interesting when we can appreciate and celebrate the beauty of variations.

Sulky Kitten said...

I love your beautiful bird! I feel so bad for the little guy though - he presumably still has to live with his oafish father. Hopefully his big brother will protect him. Why the Hell can't people accept that although we all have many things in common, we are still all different.

bohemiannie! art said...

Food for thought. Your little blue bird is so beautiful.

Kathy, PaperPumpkin said...

Courage. I have been thinking a lot about being brave lately. A lot.

Magic Love Crow said...

I agree totally! Being "you" takes a lot of courage! To set yourself free from "what you are suppose to be like"! I love your watercolor! Beautiful! Thanks for coming by my blog today ;o)

Annette said...

Your birdie painting is so pretty and love seeing your watercolors mixed with your wonderful and thoughtful posts my young friend. Hugs and hope you have a great weekend. xoxoxo

Kyra said...

I think it does take courage to be who we're meant to be, because so rarely does it coordinate with what everyone else wants us to be. I find is disheartening that the reason it's so hard to be true to ouselves is because others are so happy to jump on one another and make people feel unhappy for who they are. It's something that has bothered me since I was little, and I haven't been able to come to terms with as an adult. Courage can be exhausting, even if it's the only way.

Mopsa said...

You're right. This actually resonates a lot with me, right now. Because I felt, from an early age, that I had to be exceptional. Now I need courage to follow my own simple path, and that sometimes means being just average... :)
Your blue bird is beautiful!

Almost Precious said...

Great post. Guess I've always been a square peg and have never even tried to make myself fit into the standard round hole. lol

Love the brilliant blue bluebird.

Almost Precious said...

Great post. Guess I've always been a square peg and have never even tried to make myself fit into the standard round hole. lol

Love the brilliant blue bluebird.

gigihawaii said...

The courage to be average is easy. But the courage to be different is difficult. Love your art, Ana.

Em said...

beautiful bird.

Loved the brother. Wonderful kid. He doesn't know it, but he is saving his younger brother's life every single day. (Or perhaps he does know it.)

Having been in that position, sort of, it really makes you want to be there for all those kids dealing with that.

turquoisemoon said...

Luv that bird! Actually, I learned early on about this from astrology.

Life 101 said...

I love the art for this blog and the words I've read so far are way above average :)
R

Gloria said...

I love your bird who seems to be contemplating to leave the roost or now. I think he will be brave and spread his wings and go. I just like being me, who I am and I like who you are too, YOU! :) Have a wonderful weekend.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Very true. Is that the Bluebird of Happiness in your painting?

Jane said...

You make some very good points, Ana. There's a lot of pressure out there - makes it hard to stay true to our own calling.

Riot Kitty said...

I love the thoughts paired with the bluebird portrait.

Cynthia Schelzig said...

Well said,,,a beautiful blue bird too!

Leovi said...

Beautiful blue bird.

hirondelle said...

I like the way you combine your paintings with your thoughts and stories. This was a beautiful story, thanks for sharing.
:-)

Arkansas Patti said...

I just love that big brother. I think our worst human flaw is the conviction that the way "I" think is the only correct way. It causes wars, religious conflict and political debate. Sure wish we could learn to celebrate and be facinated by difference rather than fearful of it.

NatashaMay said...

It's all in the eye of the beholder. :) An average thing to someone is an extraordinary thing to you. I don't mind being average. It's where I'm most comfortable. And it's that much big of a deal when i actually do something out of average.:) Awesome blue bird!

BIKBIK AND RORO said...

Perhaps it's not so much being "average", as being happy to be oneself -- not comparing oneself with others, but being the best you that you can be. A blessed new year to you Ana :)

Sherri B. said...

Indeed, it does...beautifully put, Ana. And what a lovely bird! I think I'll try and paint a bird soon. Thank you for your encouraging words on my blog - I appreciate it so much. :)

Anjas-Artefaktotum said...

Your blue bird painting is amazing!

bellalullo said...

E' bellissimo questo uccellino azzurro, tutto solo sullo sfondo grigio-blu...
Bellalullo

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

It does take courage to be free, to stand apart, to be your own person. There seem to be so many 'collective' social pressures that write a script for each one of us to follow. I've reached an age where I don't feel that pressure as much anymore. There has been a price to pay at times, but I've decided to live my life on my terms.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Such beautiful thoughts my fellow dreamer :)

AntiquityTravelers said...

Being 'average' is a term that society created ... you are anything but that! The masses seem to 'dumb down' the world and what is valued. I choose not to listen to that. Seems to me, you do too. Happy New Year Ana ... keep 'being free'

Kim Dellow said...

Wonderful post. I love your thoughts and art too. Kim

Jeanie said...

What insight you share, Ana. You know, I've been wrestling with that as I approach retirement. There are many reasons why I would like it to begin sooner rather than later, but what I do lack is the courage to quit. It will happen. But it does take -- well, courage.

Cristiane Marino said...

Ana,

Hoje estou com uma preguiça de escrever em inglês...

Que linda pintura! Delicada e expressiva, me lembra o estilo japonês.
Adorei as reflexões que a acompanham. Como é difícil nadar contra a corrente, ser o que se é. É preciso muita coragem para ser fiel a si mesma.
Esse é um dos meus objetivos neste novo ano: Ser cada vez mais verdadeira comigo mesma.
Abraço com carinho

alteredstatesstudio said...

wow....this story was so incredible. i hate rules and expectations. the story of the brothers is so awesome! the dad should totally be ashamed, but the big brother- wow, almost cannot describe the act of kindness and love for his little brother. so moved....

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It takes courage to live life...it's not for sissies! But we can help and encourage each other and what a difference that makes! I'm always inspired by your art and your beautiful spirit! Hugs!

Ileana said...

That story about the big and little brother broke my heart but I come from a culture where parents feel they have to instruct children in all areas of life...not just what they should do, but what they should like. I remember my mother repeatedly trying to get my daughter to write with her right hand but she'd switch to the left and when I noticed this I immediately told her to let her be. Some of it is old school and it's just wrong but I think you're right, it's parents' own fears that get in the way. They want life to be as kind as possible to their loved ones and will try to control what they believe could be a future problem. It's sad, actually, because the parent that thinks this way is flawed and doesn't know it and projects his/her anxieties onto the child.

Jenny said...

Breaking away from the herd always take courage Ana... your words are so true... beautiful little watercolor bird... a sweetie...

Jenny ♥

Zena said...

Yes it does takes courage... beautiful bird

BamaTrav said...

Nice birds. I wonder if the taste like chicken? Out football team, the Univ. of Alabama is down in your neck of the woods for a game tomorrow against Notre Dame. It's the national title college game. xo

Jeanie said...

I never thought of that, but you are so right. We are so bombarded with messages to be perfect, to be like others to not just succeed but to exceed. And what if you really don't care that much about something? I mean, not everyone wants to be the star, they just want to be part of the show. And it does take courage. Yes, another new thought!

missy k said...

Thats the second time I heard that today.... yes it does take courage to be imperfect.... I'm going to use that in my journal to remind myself!

Thank you

Karen x

Kashmira said...

I have been thinking a lot about being average as well. My younger self wanted to be above average, different, better than others and all that stuff that young people want to be. At the ripe old age of 37, I am realizing how exhausting that is! I would just love to peacefully exist, be me, and be happy!

Meera Rao said...

The blue bird of happiness for her- who has the courage to be best of herself !

Boho mom said...

Okay, I really needed to read this. It's perfect. Courage. I've been harassed relentlessly by a mentally unstable person who I barely even know. I have no idea what her fixation is on me...
And here I am, just trying to be average.
peace

Bohemian said...

For Generations my Family has been outside of the Box and I quite liked that about us and how we were raised and Lived. My Grandchildren are continuing with the Free Spirited approach to Celebrating Self and not always conforming, I am Happy to see that Confidence and Freedom to just 'Be' who they were Wonderfully Created to be.


Dawn... The Bohemian