The US has changed me

The US has changed me

The last couple of days my attitude towards collecting beautiful moments has changed dramatically. In the plane towards the US I was looking forward to collect beautiful moments. To ask people to draw a beautiful moment from their last week. to cheer people up, to connect.  I love to give people a great experience and make them happier. Especially the ones who think they have a lousy week. It would be nice and fun.
And collecting here is nice and fun. But it’s also much much more.
Everywhere I go I meet great people. From taxi drivers giving me a free ride to families opening there homes with all the love they have. From the frail old lady in the train inviting me for lunch to the little boy high fiving me.
The bigger picture however isn’t so bright. The country is on edge. It has lot of inequality, violence and tension amongst groups. The elections don’t help either. You’re always against. Never I have been warned more on how to be safe than on the streets in Dallas. To be careful, to watch out, to be aware. And while I meet incredible open and kind people, in general people don’t trust others. They trust the people they know, but not the strangers. Not the guy sitting next to you in the metro. For me that’s painful to see and say.
I think the solution is to get back to the smaller picture. To see humans as humans. Just like you do with your friends. In this hostile dynamic it’s important to tell stories about what drives us as humans. What makes us happy. How good people are. That people differ, but everybody matters. To tell the positive stories.  So we can learn to trust each other.
I walk around with open arms and a bunch of text markers. Just to connect with strangers on the streets. And I see the suspicious glance turn into a smile.  I see people talk to persons they never met before. I see them realizing the world isn’t that bad.
And off course I’m not THE solution. But I think that what I do helps. And I’m the lucky one that I’m able to do this. I can contribute to a positive change. And that’s all because of you. You who read about the beautiful moments, you who shares these stories, you who supports me. Thank you so much. You let me walk into the world with open arms. Because of you I have my hands to reach out towards others.

I no longer think it’s just nice and fun to be collecting beautiful moments here. It’s bloody necessary.

Drawing in the metro of Los Angeles.
Drawing in the metro of Los Angeles.

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