Miss Jonses’ Children

Miss Jones was in her 90’s. In her assisted living apartment, she was surrounded by drawings that she had made of her kindergarten class over her 50-year career. She loved to remember her children she had taught.

Miss Jones was an artist. It had been her custom to draw a montage of each class. She explained her approach this way: “I try to capture more than just a likeness of each child. My drawings reflect my vision of them as individuals. The drawings reflect hope. You’ll see that I’m not specific in my caricatures. For example, I don’t picture them as firemen, teachers, or athletes. What I try to capture are the qualities that make each of them special. These are the qualities that they will have forever.

“I try to reflect these qualities in their eyes, in the expressions on their face, in the positioning of their mouth, and in other ways that seem important to me. I don’t have a formula for my drawings. I draw what seems important to me. I never let their family circumstances or other reality shape my drawing of them. What I’m doing is drawing possibilities.”

Possibilities are about hope for the future. They are developed from thoughtful observations of what might be. They are not meant to be a “design” of what should be. They are not meant to be an accurate portrait of the way things are. Possibilities are subtle in their presentation. They are not meant to be a roadmap. But there is something real about them: Miss Jones’ drawings sprang from the hope she saw in each child’s face, not from studying their backgrounds or family situations. Each person viewing a possibility can make his or her own interpretation of where it might lead. Over time, possibilities can develop into more specific realities, but for now they are simply expressions of hope, like the hope that shines through the drawings of Miss Jones’ children.

Just imagine if we approached issues confronting our society as Miss Jones saw her children: possibilities not bound by the past or fears of the future. Just imagine how thinking of possibilities lets us hope for what might be rather than settle for less than the best. Just imagine how possibilities help free us from self-imposed constraints that limit our thinking.

* * *

“The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.”  – Jean-Jacques Rousseau (writer, philosopher, composer)

How To Use

Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.