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Turning A Weakness into Art

Last year I wrote an essay on how to use your weaknesses as strengths (you can read it here). Upon reflection, one year later, I realized the article was three parts whining and another part one part sorting out my thoughts and not a whole lot of substance. So, I’m going to fix it this week and offer a better solution which starts with this short video on Ted.Com. Don’t skip it, it is part of my discussion, and it’s only 4 minutes long; you have time.


Get where I am going here? Let me explain with a short story: I have only been to Detroit, Michigan twice…well I’ve been to the airport twice. It was before the big remodel and the place was dark, dirty, and a little seedy. By the time I made my connecting flight, I had added it to my list of least favorite airports (I’m looking at you Atlanta!). My thoughts on the city of Detroit itself came from what I’ve seen on the TeeVee and interwebs from people who spend 10 minutes there to determine Just How Bad Things Are. The recession has not been good to the Motor City and in many ways it has come to reflect all things bad with the U.S economy; lots of crime, high unemployment, crumbling houses. So it came as a surprise to me when I was sitting around watching TV and saw a preview for a new series about a group of artists trying to rebuild Detroit. My fruitless internet searches for said show came up with nothing but here’s a good example of what is being done.

These artists are taking something that looks like a hopeless cause to the rest of the world and turning it into something better and livable. They aren’t waiting for a big corporation to come in and save the day and create billions of jobs. What they are doing is taking advantage of the opportunity and making something better for Detroit. Sure, they aren’t going to save the world either with a coat of paint, but they are going to make it a little better so people can be proud to live there. My friend Karen lives an hour south of Detroit, and like many in that region, is struggling to find work. Karen lives and breathes music so she created a concert series called Concerts At Karen’s Place and holds them on her front porch to court local musicians to her area and bring music to the small town masses. Pretty damn cool if I do say so myself.

These are just a few of the many examples of people taking a bad situation and turning into something, well, pretty damn cool. They are taking their 404 error page and making it art or even making you laugh instead of something that infuriates. That, Gentle Reader is a little thing done right that actually matters.


About Anna Alexander

I get ideas. I write things. I sometimes follow through with those ideas. I also run long distances and live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband cat who lets us pay the mortgage on his house.

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