This is a painting by Adolf Hitler. Pretty good, huh?
He applied to art school but was rejected….TWICE!
Apparently, the powers-that-be thought his portfolio contained “too few heads” and that his talent was probably in architecture. Oh well, nothing came of that decision (judgment)….right? I mean, denying him the opportunity to develop his passion couldn’t have serious consequences, could it?
I think Anais Nin answers that question best when she says:
“Creation which cannot express itself becomes madness.”
So what if Hitler were actually accepted into art school? How might history have been different?
A clue lies in one of the most powerful collection of words in cinematic history: Charlie Chaplin’s speech in The Great Dictator.
This version of Hitler is the (hypothetical) result of creative expression, of connecting with the deepest aspects of the self, of tapping into the power that often remains hidden below the surface. This version of Hitler does not “obtain” power through the subjugation and oppression of others. No, this version finds it from within. This version awakens others to their own latent power. It EMPOWERS others.
What’s my point? We are all geniuses at something, and our job is to discover our own (and others’) gifts, develop them, and give them away. When we do that—when we find our own power—we don’t feel the need to “take it” from others. We don’t become MAD! And we don’t make others MAD either!
After watching the Chaplin speech, watch this:
Can you see the parallels? How sad is it to hear of the woman who said that cocaine felt like a hug to her??
Here is another version of the Chaplin speech with some very moving imagery.