Something a pair of people said to me recently got me to thinking (something that occurs usually only when I am awake at an unfortunate hour). The two people in question are Tim Bursch and Maggie Mohs. As far as I know, Tim and Maggie don’t know each other. I “met” Tim on Twitter, although I have never met him in person. He is an amazing resource for a guy like me trying to make connections and figure out the new media. During one conversation about my blog, Tim suggested doing a before and after series of pictures. Maggie is co-owner of SimplyNeutral, a company producing amazing cleaning products that are as green as you can get. After my last post, Maggie had commented about keeping your eyes open to new possibilities. That she had been a home cleaner and was now a manufacturer of non-toxic cleaning products. The comments were made completely separately, about a month apart, but together they formed an idea in my head.
What would each of us look like if there were a Before and After series of pictures taken of us? Obviously, it would depend on the amount of time that had passed between the photo shoot, but how would we look, between college graduation and our forties? And I’m not talking about physical appearance. What if the photographer could take a picture of our heart and our soul? How would we have fared? How would we have changed? Would we look like the picture above, gone from dingy, spotted and in need of attention to gleaming and looking like a useful piece of equipment for everyday life?
I guess it all depends on the track that our lives take. Did we go through life constantly working on ourselves, taking care of ourselves? Did we try to improve ourselves and make an effort to become better people, or did the cynicism and the negativity of the world turn us from hopeful, useful tools to grimy souls in need of serious attention? Did we start appealing and gleaming only to become someone who nobody wanted to be near?
It’s hard to look at ourselves objectively, I know. As for myself, I would like to think that I am like the refrigerator above. I think if I were to be objective that I could honestly say that 30 years ago, I was not something that anyone would want put their resources in. Today I am more interested in others. It takes constant effort and a lot of elbow grease to keep the fridge useful and productive and yes, there are always spills that need to be cleaned up immediately before they begin to stink, but the effort is worth it.
What would your before and after picture show?