The Dot – Peter H Reynolds helping others to gain self confidence

I generally like reading substantial novels like Harry Potter or Hunger Games. I also like a quick short story too, but there is another way to enjoy a story and that is by watching a short story converted to video.

I really enjoyed “The Dot” video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5mGeR4AQdM ) by Peter H Reynolds, who not only wrote the story, he did the drawings too. Peter has wonderful sketches, which he incorporates in his books. He also wrote “Ish” a simple, short picture book that I liked too, so I started with a positive impression of his work.

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Figure: Not only does Peter deliver nice messages in his writing, he does  wonderful sketches.

It appears Peter (with the help of animator Pat Malley) is now turning his books into YouTube videos which is really great. The video is popular (currently 50,960 views), and tells an inspiring story about a little girl’s transformation from self-doubt to self-belief.

The main character is a little girl named Vashti. She initially lacked confidence to draw anything at all. Her teacher encouraged her to “make a mark”. Vashti didn’t put much care or effort into that mark, but her teacher developed her self-belief by framing her little dot, as if it were a proud possession.

Vashti thought if her teacher appreciated something as small and insignificant as a dot, perhaps her teacher would enjoy her art even more if she tried to create better dots. After a little effort, Vashti created so many interesting and fabulous new dots that all people could appreciate them. And it all started from a little gesture of encouragement!

In the end, a little boy compliments Vashti’s art and tells her that he can’t draw. This sounded all too familiar to Vashti. So, in the same way as her teacher did to her, Vashti asked the little boy to make a mark and sign it. This may have been the start to a new cycle of self-confidence.

What a beautiful story. Peter has wonderful spirit of encouraging people and it comes through in his work. Two nice examples come from his website and blog:

On the Peter H Reynold’s website ( http://www.peterhreynolds.com/meet.html ) he says:

My hope is that my site can also inspire you to get to that project you’ve been meaning to do. While I find great joy in drawing, thinking, writing, painting, and sharing, what really makes me happy is seeing OTHER people enjoying the same feeling. I want to help remind you to keep a journal, write that poem, story or book, paint that painting, as well as use your talents and energy to “make your mark.”

On the Peter H Reynold’s blog, my favourite post is “More Time To Spend Together” http://stellarcafe.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/more-time-to-spend-together.html

The only thing I wished he had of done, was include one of his fabulous sketches, instead of using this “Interstate 95” image.

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Figure: The story of Peter being stuck on Interstate 55 was his most memorable blog for me

What is your favourite saying to help others to look on the bright side?