Tag: inspiring

A Homeless Man’s Coloring Book Pages Show Us Another Side of Creativity

A lesson for children and adults alike.

Healing, like creativity, is a process; there is no on/off switch. It flows like a river, sporadically obstructed by nature and chance. Shit happens—emotionally, spiritually, physically, we get hurt and we turn to various outlets to heal. People exercise, meditate, cleanse, float in some sort of sensory reduction tank (because apparently, that’s a thing), and others create. Regarding books, I do not mean to exclude the reader from this act of creation. There’s a well-known quote by Samuel Johnson circling our illustrious world wide web that says: “A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”


Look at that face, that’s a solid blue steel.
Image Via Wikipedia


The reader fills in all the blanks—I know this because of all the literary theory classes those college people made me take…Reading allows the human mind to escape the limitations our so-called realities place upon it. Creating is the same. In the moment, your creation feels like all that matters. But it’s still about more than just you.

A local news station in Cleveland recently did a piece on a homeless man who enjoys drawing as a means to cope with his own limitations. Eugene Sopher draws pages for a coloring book that, due to Sopher’s precarious financial situation, may never be published. To Sopher, that doesn’t matter.



“I do this drawing, and it’s medicine, baby,” said Sopher. “I’m in the zone. Not trying to mix it with drugs, but it’s the best high I’ve ever had.”


His lack of finances and exposure have led to some unconventional PR methods: he relies on strangers to make copies for him so that he may share is art with the world. The wide variety of pages he has created contain lessons for young and old alike. Some of his pictures warn about the dangers of gang violence or meeting strangers online, and others aim to simply put a smile on your face. Sopher, who suffers from depression and bipolar disorder, has not had an easy life. He has felt the weight of the world and the resulting discombobulation. At forty-four years young, he spends a good amount of time drawing uncolored pages so that he can escape any personal grimness and help his readers.




“I can do something because if they’re reading that, they can say, ‘You know what? That happened to me. Oh, you what know, I went through that,” said Sopher. “A lot of the reason I keep my cartoons in black and white is it gives you a chance to put color to them.”


Sopher’s story and art remind us that creativity is not some sort of commodity purchased in the restricted section of society. It’s not exclusively available to those deemed ‘intellectual.’ It’s part of all of us, a silver lining that bridges the gap between reality and perception, body and soul. Regardless of one’s age, race, or gender—whether it be the lawyer who journals in her free time or the homeless man who lives to doodle—we are all connected by imagination and our ability to create.




Images Via News5cleveland.com


New Book Promises It Can Teach Anybody How to Do a Split, Including You

Eiko is a yoga instructor at a place in Osaka, Japan, but that’s not all she’s doing these days! She recently published a new book entitled Even the Stiffest People Can Do the Splits in which she details a 4-week stretching regiment, by the end of which even you or I can accomplish our childhood dream of doing a full split!


Eiko has been a YouTube sensation where she uploads videos demonstrating yoga routines to the masses—views on her channel are recorded at having almost 7 million views! In fact, she is so popular in Osaka that children point at her on the streets, calling her “the Queen” because she is the Queen of the Splits. Eiko now hopes to motivate people around the world to become lithe and nimble regardless of their age. Her routines are simple and fun, and, as studies show, such exercises can help someone live their life to the fullest.



Image Via Amazon


The book, Even the Stiffest People Can Do the Splitshas three components to it: The statistical evidence showcasing what a service this can be to your body and mind; Eiko’s own regimented routine for pursuing this lifestyle; and a short story.


The story tells of two employees who want to live better lives, but are incapable of doing so. When a new boss takes over their department, the two must show up to work at 7:30 AM from then on. When they show up to work the next morning, they find that the room they have been directed to is covered with blankets, and it is there that they are taught to stretch and bounce toward far happier lives.


Eiko says she chose these two characters who are dealing with shame in the workplace because they showcase the inferiority complexes many adults have in their lives. If adults can be taught to be flexible, it may trigger a childlike hope that they can accomplish anything.



Image Via NY Times


I myself am considering investing in the book because, at 27-years-old, I can totally relate to the desire to do a split and impress all of my friends. As a child, it always seemed like an unattainable goal, but perhaps with Eiko’s help even the most unattainable goal will result in success!




Feature Image Via NY Times

Matilda Roald Dahl

Top 10 Roald Dahl Quotes to Keep You Dreaming

Roald Dahl (not-so-affectionately called Roald the Rotten by his first wife), might have been a difficult man, but he was a gracious writer. His children’s stories are filled with hope and have given us innumerable unforgettable characters, such as Willy Wonka, Matilda, and James (the one with the giant peach).


Above all, he gave generations of children a sense of wonder and generosity. It’s that for which we remember the allegedly “rotten” man. Here are ten Roald Dahl quotes to fill your heart with a magic that will never die.


1. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.


2. And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.


3. If I were a headmaster I would get rid of the history teacher and get a chocolate teacher instead.


4. Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog.


5. It’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself.


6. Grown ups are complicated creatures, full of quirks and secrets.


7. So please, oh please, we beg, we pray
Go throw your TV set away
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall…


8. I understand what you’re saying, and your comments are valuable, but I’m gonna ignore your advice.


9. A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.


10. A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.




Feature Image Via Parade

MLK Martin Luther King Jr. Speech Washington Memorial Reflecting Pool speech i have a dream

10 Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes to Make You Take Action

Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” is likely one of the most inspiring things you can read. As the title suggests, King wrote it in jail, and it is essentially a treatise in defense of nonviolent direct action. More broadly, it’s about doing something instead of nothing. It’s a call to action for anybody who sees anything wrong happening. It was written to rally clergymen to King’s cause, to convince them of the righteousness of breaking unjust laws.


It’s easy enough to find inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. quotes, so I chose specifically from his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Hopefully, after you’ve read some of these excerpts, you’ll be motivated to read the letter in its entirety here.


1. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.


2. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.


3. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily.


4. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.


5. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.


6. We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.”


7. Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.


8. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will.


9. So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?


10. Never before have I written so long a letter. I’m afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?



Image Via Biography


Feature Image Via Imgur

Anne Frank

10 Anne Frank Quotes That’ll Remind You Not to Let Go of Your Ideals

Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl is one of those required books everybody reads at a young age and you never hear anybody complaining about. It’s obviously emotional, but it’s also surprisingly uplifting and humorous. She showed such wisdom at such a young age, and her idealism in the face of cruel Naziism can give anyone a reason to keep their chin up.


Anne Frank’s diary is rightfully required reading, and should be required re-reading and re-re-reading. But in the situation that a re-reading has thus far eluded you, here are some of the most insightful thoughts that Anne Frank left us.


1. I’ve found that there is always some beauty left—in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you.


2. I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.


3. People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but that doesn’t stop you from having your own opinion.


4. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.


5. In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.


6. Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.


7. Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.


8. You can be lonely even when you are loved by many people, since you are still not anybody’s one and only.


9. I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.


10. It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.


Anne Frank

Image Via Biography


Feature Image Via Wikipedia