In a tea house, listening to songs from around the world, enjoying the warmness of the place, lying down on a soft purple mat.
Having a conversation about life.
My new colleague was telling me about his beginnings as a painter. How he decided to exploit the “Gift economy” theory with his paintings. In short, giving his art (or whatever you do) to people with no set price. As a gift. People can give something back, objects, materials, physical help or money.
“What if they don’t give you anything back?” I shamelessly asked ” They will if you really put your heart into it; but if they don’t, it makes an excuse for you to keep on doing this, giving your gifts away and proving to those people that the world can be a happy place”.
The first time someone ordered a canvas from him, he was offered 200 euros. Nothing was left when he finished his order. More money, more ways to make them happy. “That doesn’t pay the rent though” he said.”It doesn’t, but you chose to make people happy.” I said.
“You have a story”
I didn’t mean to sound smart or to start a conversation about life. I didn’t mean anything, really. It was casual. But he looked at me as if I had said something… something that he hadn’t thought of before.
We all have stories. Andecdotes, funny stories, dramas. These stories define us, define our paths. It’s not important that you tell people about them, It certainly is not the point to gloat. The way I see it, they make us think about our life, they make us realize and think whether we are happy or not with what we do. Judging by the amount of positive or negative stories you have, you can estimate a change in your life.
We all have stories. I have stories, probably more than I realize. The couple leading a peaceful routine: work, eat, sleep; they have stories aswell if they look into them. Stories at work, but also stories about themselves. Something insignificant in appearance that happened, but that triggered something in your mind. A man who says “I have a wife and two kids” has missed that. He sees the results in his life, but not what led to them. Of course, he is not going to tell others about how he met his wife everytime he meets someone. But he is the same kind of man who has this conversation “How’ve you been?” “oh, you know, working a lot”.
I think people who claim that their work is their life are actually enjoying the stories their work brings to them. Stories are personnal, they don’t make sense for everyone else but you. They are not for other people to criticise or to comment on or to reflect on. You don’t learn lessons from other people’s stories, you learn lessons from yours.
Stories happen to us everyday. Look into yourself and find them. Your life will be much more colourful.
Do not look into other’s stories. Appropriate yours.
Your kids doing something funny is their story, not yours.
The young man at work needs to open his eyes and look around him. When he wakes up, when he is driving to work, when he is working.
Talk to people, that’s how things happen. That’s how I ended up parking a stranger’s car, that’s how I ended up at that tea house last week. That’s also how I met a princess, won a prize for smiling everyday and been a hostess at an ambassador’s house.
Now that I realized how important they were for me, I see them everywhere. And it makes me happy, to see how many things happen to me in a day.
Be happy aswell.
Share your stories with us!
Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.
― Gilda Radner