If Only We Were Robots

Off in the Clouds by Steven Hrissis | Moving Peaces

Time would be measured by productivity if we were all robots. We could plow through all of the tasks and chores we have to do with no need to stop and eat or sleep. Distractions and hypothetical rabbit holes would have no place in the world. As robots, we could focus on whatever we were programmed to do.

Just think–if we were robots we could do all the things we now try and fail. There would be no such thing as a bad hair day or a bad boss. Nothing would stop us from achieving our goals, because we wouldn’t have the physical, mental, or emotional obstacles standing in our way. Doubt and fear couldn’t creep in and feelings of inadequacy wouldn’t win. There would be no putting your foot in your mouth or guilt from whatever mistake you made.

Some days, I just want to be a robot. To do everything just so and always know what to do. To work right on through my day, always checking off my to-do list. I want to never make mistakes and go after the things I was meant to do.

While this imaginary robot life might do everything right, it’s void of what makes life the wonderful thing that it is. Those moments where we struggle? That’s where the story comes in. The bad days, bad hair, and bad jobs give us something to relate about and support one another. The need to eat and sleep in turn give us reason to taste and an opportunity to dream. Distractions and thoughtful rabbit holes can lead to creativity, which brings beauty, art, and meaning into the world.

Lately I’ve poured myself into writing–writing for clients, writing for various publications, writing just for me. By the end of it, I’ve spent all of my energy writing down my thoughts and ideas with nothing left over. I look around and see a messy house, a list of to-dos long overdue, and every way that I have failed at something or with someone. I look back on my day and wonder where all the time went and why I can’t seem to get everything in order. So here I am, in the middle of the night, wishing I could be a robot. Thinking, if only I could press on through the night and skip sleep then maybe I could accomplish everything and stop disappointing people, myself included.

But we aren’t robots. 

And when it comes down to it, I don’t really want to be a robot. I want this life as a human…even with the pain and mistakes, because I know it also brings beauty and joy. We get to feel and experience life, hold each other’s hands, and find laughter and grace. That beats productivity any day. 



This Little Thing Called Encouragement

Looking Up | Moving Peaces

Do you know just how far a bit of encouragement can go?

I’ve been heavily surrounded by artists, musicians, designers and writers for the better part of the last decade. So many of them are constantly going up against the grind as they better their craft and pursue their passions. Some try to make it pay the bills while others dedicate countless hours burning the midnight oil. Success in a world like this is fleeting and even sometimes impossible to fulfill. So few get their names in lights, but so many pour their hearts out.

Over time, sadly, many give up. They don’t realize the impact. It’s not just about making money in this sort of community, it’s about making something that matters.

But how will they know it matters unless we tell them?

Seriously. If you know someone who makes or does amazing things, they need to know. So, say so. It might be just enough to keep them going.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not interested in the world of “everyone gets a medal” or enabling a life of negligence to responsibilities.

No, empty praise is sometimes worse than no praise at all. Further, a loss of accountability for rock stars, local celebrities or “talented people” is downright heartbreaking. Just because someone is good at their craft, does not mean we should over-glorify that aspect of their life while ignoring real issues.

But real encouragement, the kind that sees through the struggle and the hardship and promises support, is invaluable. Sharing the impact you’ve experienced or felt means more than you know. It’s worth more than a paycheck and carries more weight than any metric.

This goes beyond art. It’s your colleague or your mom or even your friend who just had a baby. You see their struggle but also their strengths. If you benefit from their wisdom and their quiet leadership, say so.

Sometimes it feels silly to send that message or make the bold statement telling someone how their work, their art or their service has impacted you. Perhaps they’ll blush or shrug it off, but what you don’t see is the rest of their day–the surprised phone call they make to a friend or family member saying how flattered they were or the encouragement they turn around and give to their influencer or neighbor.

It pays in dividends that you’ll never see or know, but it’s what we all need.