I had a great conversation today with a wonderful group of humans approximately half my age.
Technically, less than half my age.
Around 15, 16, 17.

I think I'm 38,
but I need to check with my wife for verification.

I joined a little discussion about Art and the subtleties between judgment and criticism. The good kind of criticism.

Some very articulate, heartfelt, vibrant, passionate, and enlightening discourse surrounding this topic. One of my favourite topics.

I believe I got to sneak in anecdotes about Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and Marcel Duchamp. Which also made me happy.

And we talked about ENABLERS.
And I said something like: one of the saddest things is when someone really loves doing something, like painting, and
someone else comes along and does something, or says something, that makes that person STOP what they love.

That is sad.

(BTW: go rent Whiplash. Thought-provoking in the extreme)

I said: one of the great achievements we can all work on is to be Enablers (in the best interpretation). To learn what it means to provide criticism of the constructive variety that inspires, supports, and evolves that person into improving, while keeping their love and enthusiasm for that interest intact.

The following is relevant in a tiny way:
when I was a teenager, I wanted stripes in my hair.
Because it was a cool thing, I think.
I think?
To have stripes, or numbers, or some kind of design shaved into your head.
I thought it might make me a more effective athlete.

I told my dad of my desire.
And he suggested that it was not something that he was willing to do to his own hairs.
That he was happy with them the way they were.
But that if I wanted to save myself a trip to the local (mostly functionally-inebriated) barber, then he would do the clipping duties on me.

If you think the idea of shaving stripes into your head sounds dumb,
then you probably have a strong picture of what it looked like, because
it (unsurprising in retrospect) did actually look a bit...dumb.

I regret it not a bit.

I might even have played the Beastie Boys while he was cutting.
I don't know.
But maybe.

And I know, beyond a doubt's shadow,
that he was not trying to be cool.
He knew it was important to me.
And he didn't get it in the way, because it was not a
or a doctrinal,
or a big issue in any way,

And he enabled it to happen,
and actually did a fairly good job,
if it's possible to describe having stripes shaved into your head as
"a good job."

Now he is a grandfather.
And I think this look encapsulates a lot of wonderful things about what it means to be a
a parent,
and the type of person who supports others in their enthusiasms.

I think he's retired from hairstyling now though.

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