Return the Favor

Gyotaku Scraps & Gel Pen on Black Mixed Media Paper

Gyotaku is the art of Japanese fish printing. My husband and I have learned it and the squares in this piece are scraps from practice sheets. I wanted to emphasize the texture captured by the ink on the rice paper. What more appropriate saying For fish art than the words about teaching a man to fish.

It is one thing to hand someone what they need at the time they need it. It is another thing to invest and teach them how to obtain what they need through their own efforts. Teaching takes time, effort, patience, and the participation of a willing student. Sharing knowledge, letting go of control and being the center of everything is a gift. Helping someone else learn to care for themselves is the greatest gift we can bestow. Self sufficiency through education and learning is a lifelong endeavor and worthy of every moment spent in it’s pursuit.

I was speaking to someone this week who has gone back to school at age fifty-seven to finish their bachelors degree. They said they felt a bit late to the party, and then followed up that statement with knowing that education is something no one can ever take away. It is incredible to learn, to expand our mind and horizons, and to do it no matter what time, people, or implied expectations tell us. Having the guts to invest in ourselves no matter our circumstances is truly noble and one of the best investments any human can pursue.

I hope that today provides you with an opportunity to share your knowledge with someone else, someone who has the guts and drive to change their life. Give them the gift of education. Give them the gift that can never be taken away and that has the power to change their world forever. My guess is someone gave you that gift, so return the favor.

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