Monday, October 17, 2011

Lessons from the life of Vincent van Gogh

Life's not at all fair is one of the biggest take aways from watching CBS's 60 minutes program on The Life and Death of Vincent van Gogh.  He lived the life of a pauper, depending on a brother to subsidize his food and lodging, yet years later many of his his thousands of paintings are each worth millions.  There were other lessons as well.

Perseverance.  Despite being teased and essentially friendless, Vincent van Gogh persevered with his passion of painting.    He wanted console others who were heartbroken by their struggles in life, and most certainly did!

Follow your own passions.  Vincent tried being a pastor like his father, but the world should rejoice that it didn't work out.  He failed at most everything he tried to do, even art school. It seems his painting was too innovative for his times.

People suffering from mental illness are not all dumb.  Vincent van Gogh is now considered the foremost painter in the world, but also spent time a year in an insane asylum.  In addition to being a brilliant painter he was a fluent in Dutch, French, German and English.  He was also a voracious reader.

Support local artist.  In addition to getting a one of a kind piece of art work you might also be helping with the livelihood of the next van Gogh.

Thank goodness for a safety net which now helps to assure people like Vincent van Gogh have adequate support to live on without depending on an ailing sibling for their survival.

A video of a few of Vincent van Gogh's paintings along with descriptions narrated by Morley Safer is available on 60 Minutes Overtime

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