Today we took a ride to Dedham Center, MA to visit Blue Bunny Books, owned by author Peter H. Reynolds. I became an Official Member of the Peter H. Reynolds Fellowship of The DOT™ I am sure that many of you have read this children’s book. The main character, Vashti, discovers her creativity as she (filled with frustration during art class,) gives a plain white sheet of paper “a good, strong jab” with a marker. The result of the jab is a dot, and the beginning of Vashti’s discovery. Vashti signs her dot with her name, and then comes my favorite part of the story. Vashti walks into her art class the next week to find her dot artwork set in a majestic gold frame, hanging on the wall behind her teacher’s desk. This is the part of the story that spoke to me the most. It’s the part that tells parents, mentors, or any adult involved in a child’s life this truth: the power of positive feedback is immeasurable. What Vashti does with her art skills next makes for a great story.
The book has been praised for inspiring creativity in people of all ages, and the mission of the Fellowship of the Dot™ is
“to find all the creative people on the planet and connect all the “dots” so that together we can move this world to a better place with some creative thinking.” – Peter H. Reynolds
My first impression of this story was that the teacher plays the most important role. She ironically remains nameless. She coaxed Vashti to put something down on that paper, and after the dot was there, made Vashti feel as if she had created a masterpiece. No matter how small an accomplishment may seem to one person, there should always be another person right there, telling him/her how great it is. It’s what we are here for. A good friend of mine once said that we are all teachers, and when placed in a situation where it may seem someone needs a little push, or a little lift, we should to be there to do it. This does not just apply to children, but to all people. One of the rules of the Fellowship of the DOT™ consists of these words:
When you hear “I can’t,” help turn that around with some creative thinking!
This is where we come in! When you hear “I can’t” reply “sure you can!” You may not be noticed as the person “cheering from the sidelines,” like the teacher in The Dot, but knowing that you did makes it even more fulfilling. Be that person to someone. Better yet, be that person to everyone.
I, like so many others, thoroughly enjoyed The Dot and I have sold many copies to customers where I work because I believe in its message. Everyone has special talents and sometimes it just takes a little coaxing to help those talents come to fruition.
If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of The Dot, and become a member of The Fellowship of the DOT™!