Post-Christmas Resolution, Day 304 – Process Over Product

“The journey is the reward.”

— Chinese proverb

Created by an ancient chinese painter 藍瑛 in Ming Dynasty

Chinese watercolor was the subject of the school’s Art Literacy program today where I volunteered. Students practiced brush strokes in a precise and repetitive manner. Wrists steady, fingers lightly gripping the brushes. Bamboo stalks, stems and leaves appeared on papers and were covered again and again.

Chinese painting is a stark contrast with western art traditions. In the west, the painting itself was treasured. In the east, process was king. Techniques were studied and mastered over years. Masters were copied for centuries. Canvases may have been bamboo leaves which were not meant to last. It was a technique not only for enjoyment, but a tool for studying the surrounding world.

As I watched the kids paint and repaint, it occurred to me there are a lot of things which emphasize the process over the product – reading, education, meditation, exercise, etc. They all have immense worth, but it is hard to measure their value because there is no product to price.

Giving is like that too. After we have given time to help someone, there is often no product produced. There is nothing we can hang on a wall or sell at a market. But it’s value is priceless.

Giving is a process. Each gift is a brush stroke on a canvas.

A canvas that is always being painted.

It was the first time I volunteered for Art Literacy. Another brush stroke on the canvas of life.

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About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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3 Responses to Post-Christmas Resolution, Day 304 – Process Over Product

  1. Anonymous says:

    Loved reading your remarks Eric! You and Melissa are givers–and you have both blessed my life. Thanks for caring enough to share such a valuable idea–and all the resourcefulness that is you!

  2. Helen Woller says:

    I didn’t mean to be anonymous–I’m just bad at technology! Hopefully you’ll know who I am after this post

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