Down, Up.

001A long time ago I learned an important lesson. I can’t change how other people think or act. I can only change how I respond to others. It’s a revelation that led me to try and always think about things from other people’s perspectives. Stopping to think about other people’s motives has made me, I think, a happier person and, I hope, a better person.

That’s what I thought about when I saw the giant DOWNER scrawled on a building. Graffiti makes some people angry, and I get that, but think about it from the perspective of the artist here. Maybe this was someone expressing frustration, asking for help. And they’re doing in purple, a color that, in literary symbolism, is traditionally associated with royalty and wealth but also spirituality and transformation.

Or maybe purple was all they could get their hands on and DOWNER was just something they thought would be fun to write.

Either way I’m not going to let it change how I feel about it.

10 Comments

  1. Library Heather

    I like the contrast between the gloomy sentiment and the color, which looks cheerful to me. The placement is also perfect, towards the bottom of the wall. I’m inclined to believe that a lot of thought went into this graffiti.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I think so too. That’s why I was drawn to it. It’s in a spot with a lot of graffiti but it really stood out for me. The graffiti in that spot also tends to get painted over quickly too so the very ephemerality of it also says something, and may have also been intentional.

      Reply
  2. Ann Koplow

    Thanks for the upper, Chris.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I find that bringing uppers into the lives of others makes me happy too, so it benefits everyone.

      Reply
  3. educationalmentorship

    I love these graffiti posts! Not a downer, definitely!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m so glad. Sometimes I worry that I’m encouraging vandalism and defacing of property but then I think that the graffiti I pick sometimes beautifies an otherwise ugly spot, but then I think there should be some controls…it’s a rollercoaster ride, really, but it’s worth it if they can be an upper.

      Reply
  4. Judy Chambers

    Chris, Sharon McComb sent me your essay on Ozone. I thought I had saved it (I’m now reading you daily)to send on to Kim, Lora and Jill. Can you tell me where to find it. You have a new fan!

    Reply
  5. Sandra

    You’re just a really nice, enlightened guy. I find throughout our interactions in the past little while I’ve noticed that you really do look for the good in everything. I see “Downer!” you see a pretty purple emotional call for help.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It’s what keeps me going, and hopefully it inspires others to do the same. And someone who takes the effort to cry “Downer!” is, I think, calling for help rather than languishing in silence.
      That’s a good reminder: help will never be given if it’s never asked for.

      Reply
  6. Pingback: Real, Unreal, And Does It Matter? - Freethinkers Anonymous

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