Painting Life

March 21, 2013
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One of the biggest mysteries of life is reflected in the frequently asked question: “Are humans born as a complete blank slate?” Well, no one knows for sure, but we know that there really is no “right” answer to that question.

Our journey in life starts as we arrive into the world as a baby. We begin as a very dependent being, unable to make our own choices. I believe that at that time, our life is like a blank piece of paper. We know not the good from the bad. But as we grow up, we continuously learn. We learn the morals and knowledge necessary in life through our family and community. Right at that moment, we are slowly filling in the blank piece of paper.

However, I also believe that everyone is given a different color of paper. The different colors represent the predestined factors that make each of us unique. Looking at the people around us, we may notice that some of us may be more musically talented than others. Some people are naturally gifted in science and mathematics, while others are skilled in the arts and literature. On the other hand, some of us are by nature energetic and cheerful, while others seem shy and reserved. I believe that there are certain uncontrollable factors that make up who we are. For example, to put it in a more scientific approach, we inherit our parents’ genes. We inherit their looks, abilities, and even personalities.

We may appreciate or even dislike the things that we were born with. But the more important question is: how are we going to deal and take advantage of not only the strengths, but also the shortcomings that we may be “born” with? It all depends on the kind of artwork we depict on that piece of paper. Although we cannot control the color on the paper, we can control the color of the paint and the picture that will best harmonize with the color of the paper. One can create a peaceful morning sky on a blue piece of paper, or the vast summer prairie on a green one. Our mission in life is to make and decorate that paper into something exceptional; creating a glimmering inspiration for others despite the fact that we may not truly like the color of the paper given to us. We may have no control of the shade of paper given to us, but what we do have is the brush of life. The brush is in our hands and we are in control of it.

It is true that the environment around us may affect the development of our characters. Some may also argue that those who live in a better environment have a higher chance of becoming a better person. However, I believe that someone who is given a dark colored paper has an equal chance with those who are given a brighter color. The one with a darker paper just has to find brighter colors to light up their artwork. We are still the painters of our own portraits: the portrait of both our achievements and failures in life. We should not be embarrassed of the mistakes we make in life for the first step into becoming a better person is to admit our errors and learning from it. Just like a painter, in order to make his painting more beautiful, he will not only paint a flawless rose, but also the thorns that surround its stem. Just like that painting, our life will become more beautiful if we have the courage to portray both our successes and disappointments in life. Strengths are meant to be enhanced and developed, while shortcomings are there to be conquered and keep us humble. The answer to whether or not we are born as a complete blank slate does not matter. What matters is gathering the courage to become the master painters of our own lives. Just like a painting, what is on the paper in the beginning is not the most important. What matters is the lovely work of art hung on the wall. A masterpiece that makes the painter proud.

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