Dare yourself

Not long ago I overheard two sisters talking in their secret language while their mom shopped for produce. I couldn’t help but inch in a bit closer, thinking of my own sister and how we had a way of talking so fast no one else understood us.

The older one turned to the younger and said, “dare me to touch that?”

Of course, I had no choice but to find out what this object was.

In a pretty pile were strange, spike-covered yellow fruits. They didn’t look like they’d hurt too much to touch with a finger, but you wouldn’t want to fall into the display.

The younger sister looked at them and said, “no.”

Simple as that. She would not be daring anyone to touch anything. Their game was over. And then…

The older sister said, “fine, I dare myself.”

And she touched the fruit, first with her pointer finger, and then she picked one up and rolled it gently in her hand. The younger’s curiosity couldn’t be contained and soon they were giggling, each rolling a spiky yellow fruit around in their hands.

As their daring game turned back on and had them picking up everything and in the shop, I had already printed that one moment of defiance, curiosity, and bravery, “I dare myself,” into my memory for good.

What had I dared myself to do lately? And why wasn’t that list longer?

What that game taught me is that we often seek a partner (in crime or otherwise) to help us into unknown territory. To let us know that we are not alone, that this idea is going to be okay. That the limb we’re climbing out on is going to hold when we get to the end.

Art, crafts, dance, music — creative disciplines — often have us working alone. We tinker and toil not knowing if the outcome is going to be a grand success or fantastic failure.

Wherever you are with your work, your projects, your passions, I want you to know that while I’m not there next to you, we’re in the same club.

The Dare Yourself club.

The world is better the bigger our club is. So keep going. Keep pushing. Keep trying. Share your ideas, your work, and your perspective. Because if you don’t, who will?

I dare you to dare yourself.

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