For reflection purposes I want to consider the character of Behrman. It is Behrman’s ordinariness the makes this story so profound. He is that part of ourselves that procrastinates or believes that things will get better just ahead. Living our lives this way, we lose our ability to live in the present, the only place where we can live. Unfulfilled dreams are the result. Behrman turned to gin to ease the pain of his unfulfilled dreams. But Behrman is also a kind man. He cares about people and watches over the young artists. It is his kindness, his sacrifice, his love for the young women, that his masterpiece is born. He dies, but he dies a completed man.
I believe that masterpieces emerge from our ordinariness. Acknowledging the paradox, it’s our ordinariness that makes us extraordinary, your ordinariness being different from mine. Too often we try to do the great thing, paint the masterpiece, that we can’t get started, so immense is the task before us. But taking a step forward, just one step, is how masterpieces get created.
In my kindness classes I stress the importance of doing small things. To understand this further, watch the video below, an example of a masterpiece that the “artist” did not even realize he had created. Then ask yourself, What’s MY masterpiece?”