An unexpected invitation

I was in LA recently and walked past a big board on the sidewalk. It looked like the kind of graffiti you might see in any city, any state in America. I didn’t even notice it. But then I walked past it again and something caught my eye. I looked more closely. The board had been divided into two panels. They were, in fact, invitations to respond to the following two prompts:

  1. THINGS THAT SCARE ME.

  2. WHAT I’M GOING TO DO ABOUT IT.

I was surprised by some of the entries, some of the things that people had shared. Some of it’s funny, some of it’s weird and rude but a lot of it was personal, moving and raw. If you look closely you’ll find thoughts like: not doing my best to change the world , missing my opportunity to do and be something I’m passionate about, being vulnerable, disappointing my family, speaking out, forgetting how to play piano. But the thing that really caught my eye, the thing that made me smile most is on the second panel, below.

Panel 1: Things that scare me

Panel 1: Things that scare me

It’s written in red. And it speaks to the power of storytelling. Maybe the person who wrote it is a writer, maybe they’re a musician, maybe a playwright or an actor. Or maybe none of those things. Maybe it was just a person, expressing their way of trying to make sense of things, of trying to engage with fear. Because that’s what storytelling can do. That’s how powerful it is.

Panel 2 : What I’m going to do about it

Panel 2 : What I’m going to do about it