Advice to Lalita

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 The National Galleries, London

Dear Lalita,

Sistine Chapel

Today I spent almost four hours making a tour of the British National Galleries in London. What a wonderful place! All the time I was thinking that you should see this with me. We talked a few weeks ago and you asked that I take you to Europe, and said I would be more than happy to take you. But what are you doing to make this happen? Here is my fear and, honestly, this is what most people do. I went to a ladies’ home recently and in the hallway of her home she had a reproduction of Michelangelo’s “The Hands of God and Man” from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. When I saw this and other photos from the same location I assumed that she had been there, so I told her that I too had seen the original in the Sistine Chapel. Then she told me that she had not seen the original, but that one day she hoped to go to the Vatican and see it. Later, after talking about travel, she politely leaned over to me and in a low tone asked me how I got the money to travel to Europe and other places. She was living in an upscale home and I knew she could do it if she really wanted to. The fact is she did not want to travel. So here is my point. You can do just about anything you want to do if you really want to do it and are prepared to take the necessary steps and make the sacrifices to do it. This lady was all talk, I wish, I hope, one day, I will try, and so forth. If she really wanted to travel she would travel.

So Lalita, you said you wanted to go to Europe. What are you doing to make this happen?

Sistine Chapel

Have you applied for your passport as I suggested? Are you thinking about going? Are you looking at the guide books, learning the geography, listing the sites you might like to see? Are you making yourself hungry to go? You have an incredible talent. You have a natural sense of color and spacial relationships. You can draw and paint. Are you using this God given talent? Are you preparing yourself to see the originals with me in Europe? Why are you not taking art courses? Does your university not offer courses in art history, drawing and painting? I took art history courses in university, and here I am walking in the National Galleries of Great Britain looking directly as the paintings that I only saw on slides and in art books when I was at school. You have no idea what a thrill it is to see the original! Next week I am returning to the Louvre in Paris. It is my dream-come-true to see the beauty of the world, the art, the architecture, the sculpture, the ruins of antiquity. And not just to see these things, but to have them enter into my soul and enrich me, and so I have qualified myself to be here amongst all this beauty. I took the courses, I prepared my mind to appreciate these things and I have worked hard to be here. I took the necessary step to be here. I consider it a blessing from God to be here.

So here is my advice: don’t just dream, do! Be a doer. Search your feelings, unravel your dreams, find them and then make a plan to achieve your goals. It may not be travel and art, but whatever your dreams are, plan to achieve them, and step by step execute your plans. Don’t be like the lady who only hopes to go to the Vatican one day. Go to the Vatican. Follow your bliss!

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