In her blog post, Weeks writes “Encourage one another. Bill and I have an agreement: love it for 10 minutes, which means that before you decide if you like it or not, give it 10 minutes. Look carefully. Think about it. Listen to the point of view and find at least as many positive things to say as negative ones.”
We are trained to compete. We are trained to knock others down so we can feel better than they are. It is so easy to want to be better than everyone else. It is easy to compete and we are encouraged to compete and be better than everyone else.
At some point, this behavior becomes pointless. Not everyone can be the best and constantly competing means that you become secretive and unwilling to share what is not done, your failures, your troubles with a project. You know by looking at blogs that most blog writers only show their best pictures, the finished, perfect item and not the shredded, ripped out, too large and ugly projects.
We each gain so much more from other people by encouraging them. A kind word after guild show and tell, some encouragement when Twitter shows your correspondent to be down. The encouragement bounces back to us. Giving a bit of encouragement makes me feel better inside, especially if the person to whom I am speaking smiles.
As Weeks says “give it 10 minutes”. While sending a message doesn’t take minutes, looking at projects takes longer than the 30 seconds we usually allot to quilts hanging in shows. Take 10 minutes to look at a piece. Get past the hideous colors and find something to like about it. Ddoes that Sampler have a great block you have never seen? Is there an amazing bit of piecing? Is the sashing put together in a new and intricate way?
You CAN find something to like about each and every quilt you look at, if you look hard enough.
Take some time to encourage someone else. If you are a beginner, you can still say some kind, relevant words to someone who needs them.
By encouraging others, we grow our ranks and teach ourselves to really look at things.
Image courtesy of the Modern Quilt Studio