Editor’s note: As a team, we at WeTeachMe feel very strongly about what happened in New Zealand. This blog post is dedicated to all artists and makers like Morshed Mishu, who use their creativity to fight against tyranny and violence, in order to encourage and inspire others like him. We hope our readers will take the article in that spirit. If you wish to help, this CNN article links to several crowdfunding campaigns that you can donate to: Here’s how you can help the victims of the New Zealand terror attacks.
We must look at the lens through which we see the world, as well as the world we see, and that the lens itself shapes how we interpret the world. - Stephen R. Covey
Happiness is a basic human right. Like food, water, and shelter. Every person is entitled to be happy.
But it’s challenging and rather ironic, isn’t it, to celebrate yet another UN International Day of Happiness, when barely a week ago, Christchurch, New Zealand, experienced one of its “darkest days”. A NSW man who hasn’t even turned 30, perpetrating a most blatant display of extremism and violence, gunned down 50 worshippers in an apparent hate crime. And he thought he’d capture it all on his helmet camera and stream it all over the Internet.
Massacre at the mosque, now live on Facebook. All this beautiful technology. And yet, what have we become?
On the other side of the world, another young man marches to the beat of a different drum. His name: Morshed Mishu. His weapon of choice: brush and paint.
In a series of cartoons he calls the Global Happiness Challenge, Morshed wages war against war:
“The sadness in the eyes of the portrayed human beings, from children to old people made me unbelievably down, which greatly affected my work in general! But I stood up and decided to challenge the world I live in! Although I knew all along that as a single person I can not change the world, I told myself, why should that stop me from trying?”
Who wasn’t jarred or heartbroken by the sight of Omran Daqneesh, that little boy in Aleppo, Syria, all covered in dust and caught in the middle of war? But where everyone else marveled at the collateral damage, all Morshed saw was hope.
Isn’t it astonishing how two young men can look at the same world and yet perceive it so differently? Like yin and yang at work, one wants to build it up, the other would rather watch it burn.
It’s never easy to find beauty in war or conflict, but his hope gives us hope. Ah, to see life through Morshed’s eyes:
“We normal people are the victims of war, and it kills me inside. One cannot achieve happiness and peace by war. Happiness lies in simple moments like love between a father and his child, when siblings play together, when friends go in the field and win a cup, when a child reads fairy tales and gets lost in an imaginary world. I believe we all humans want that, and deserve that.”
It’s often said that creative people see things differently. And as it turns out, they do. A study on personality found that the world, to an artist, is not just a collection of things, but instead, a combination of curves and colours, shapes and shades. Literally, they view life in a way that others don’t.
A University of Melbourne research attributes it to the so-called openness trait. According to the study, people who possess more of this trait - those who welcome new experiences and love going on adventures - are in fact wired to create more than others.
Whether it is a unique personality or a kind of attitude, whatever it is that influences how a person looks at the world, one thing is certain: It is a choice. We choose to think and behave in a specific way. No matter the thousands of little events that have brought us to some crossroads in our lives, it is we who make that split-second decision to offer hope or to take it away. To create or to destroy.
Choose to create. Always.
Because nobody has a monopoly on creativity.
Because anyone can choose to be creative.
Because it can be learned, it can be taught,
it can touch someone’s life,
and as Morshed Mishu has demonstrated,
it can change the world, too.
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