5 years Seize Your Moments

I just realized it’s September 1st today!
Exactly 5 years ago www.plukjemomenten.nl went live.

It was just a little website idea back then, because I noticed that realizing and drawing my own beautiful moments made me happier. No train plans either. I asked all my friends to draw and realized they wouldn’t continue drawing.

So I just got into a train and started to ask people there. On my third day on the train a young man draws but has to run off when we arrive at the train station in Veenendaal. I hope he hears me yelling “thank you!” to him on the platform. I examine his card and I burst into tears. A woman in a hospital bed says to the crying man next to her: “I’m not coming home to you. That’s too hard on you. I love you too much.” Not only is the moment very touching, I’m also very grateful that the boy opened up this much in his drawing. What a gift. I was the first time began to grasp something about the impact of the Seize Your Moments.

Some weeks later,an balding man in his fifties looks curiously around the corner from his booth. “Do you want to draw a beautiful moment from last week too?” I ask. “I like what you’re doing, but I’m not going to draw for you.” He has been living on the streets for quite some time, and is now turning his life around and developing himself. He wouldn’t know what to draw, he says. He repeats three times that he’s developing himself. He tells me that he went out today and is now heading back to the clinic. “Was it fun?” I ask. His eyes beam and a big smile appears on his face. Quickly he grabs all the pencils I’ve got and starts to draw enthusiastically. He’s drawing the train we’re on. After every couple of lines he proudly shows his drawing to two elderly ladies in the booth next to him. “Beautiful!” says one, and the other exclaims: “You’re a real artist!”

What was happening in trains was amazing. People cheered up, shared wonderful stories and began talking to each other. Not a normal sight in a Dutch train. So before I realized I was two years and thousands of moments later. And I thought what’s next? It became the World Tour. With the support of you guys I could travel the world and again thousands drew a beautiful moment.
I spoke to a woman on federation square Melbourne who cried and smiled. Mon from Saigon was extremely shy but dared to approach strangers after our conversation. In Serbia a woman said she was to unhappy to participate, until she remembered her son playing soccer. In a Swedish train carriage people started laughing after I made a silly mistake. And Collin who thanked me for helping him remember he got his first fathers day card from his daughter he hadn’t seen in 28 years.

I couldn’t have thought 5 years ago how this would grow.
And still now it feels a bit like a crazy story. On November 1st the book about the world tour will even come out, which is available for pre-order. By now over 7000 people in 28 countries have drawn a beautiful moment while being approached by a stranger. Last week it was the Moment week where 200 people took on the challenge to daily draw a moment. The stories still touch me, but most of all the changes people go through. It thaught me how big and profound the small things are. How’s it’s possible to change the world. Just by seeing the good things which are already there.

And I love to thank you. You who stood by me. It made sure I could do this. I’m overwhelmed by the people who I could touch by this simple idea. Thank you. You made it worthwhile.

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