Well, it’s official: The end of the world is upon us.
It sure seems that way, doesn’t it?
2020 has not been for the faint of heart, and just when you think it can’t get any worse, well, just wait for tomorrow. The thing is, every generation fears it’s living in the last days. And so far, every one has been wrong. I’m old enough to remember some of the Cold War and the events that transpired on 9/11/2001. Things looked bleak then, too.
This cheerful painting was inspired by a song about the end of the world. The words are from the lyric of a catchy tune from the 1980s by a band named Modern English. Lead singer Robbie Grey, who wrote the seemingly simple upbeat love song with his four bandmates, explained, “I don’t think many people realized it was about a couple making love as the bomb dropped. As they make love, they become one and melt together.”
On to another fun fact: This was the very first canvas I painted live during the first-ever Madison Night Market. It was also the first time I offered my art for sale to an audience that hadn’t just heard me speak. Previously, I’d only sold my art at my speaking engagements, after spending an hour sharing my art on a big screen and telling stories to a captive audience. But here, my art would be standing on its own. No explanation. No context.
As I painted away, I was able to hear people’s reactions to the painting and the prints we had for sale. What I heard was magic. People smiled and laughed and pulled their friends over to take a look.
Quite simply, my art made people happy. And that made me feel awesome. I concluded right then and there that if that’s all I was ever able to accomplish, it was a worthy calling and it would be enough.
This is kind of a big deal because, you see, in the art world, it’s not enough. An artist is supposed to make a political statement, disturb people, or question everything they hold true. Which is fine, as far as it goes. But putting good into the world, making someone happy, and bringing a small measure of joy to a fellow human being is pretty good too.
Which brings me back to this song about apocalyptic hanky-panky.
While we wait to see if the world is going to end, let’s do something productive with our time. It seems like we can find better options than rioting in the streets, cowering in fear in front of our TVs, and ranting on social media.
Instead, what’s ONE thing you can do today to make someone’s day just a teeny bit brighter? How can you use one of your gifts to make someone happy? It might not seem like much, but it’s enough.
Regardless of when the world ends, we all have a last day coming. I can’t say for certain that I’ll spend it in the fashion described in the aforementioned ’80s song. But if I can make someone happy on my last day (and on many of the days between now and then), I’m good with that.
How about you?