Robert Hughes, the famous art critic, was interviewed on television recently and told the following story. As a teenage student at a Catholic school, he was taken with his class to view an exhibition of abstract art. At one point – and in response to one of the pictures – the young Robert guffawed in amazement. When his teacher asked him why he laughed, he replied, “Because that’s not art, is it, Brother?”
The teacher’s reply stayed with him forever and changed the course of his life. “Well, Robert, if that is not art, perhaps you can tell me what art is.”
How simple are some of the words that affect us throughout our lives, particularly those that are addressed to us in our youth.
Paul Simon, interviewed in Mojo Magazine (November 2006), relates how, at 13, his father gave him a guitar. This gifted man, who has accumulated so many influences and plaudits over a successful song-writing career, then goes on to say, “I was sitting in my room singing to myself and my father stopped in the doorway and said, ‘You have a nice voice, Paul.’ That was really important.”
Some of the greatest gifts we are given are written on the air.