Leave your mark

Apr 15, 2024

Great things start with a simple pencil and a piece of paper. Being able to clarify your thoughts, note down ideas, reminders, lists, contact details – our lives today would look very different without the pencil. Writing is one of the most fundamental skills we learn as children. Our fine motor skills are developed and enhanced through the humble pencil. The books I’ve written would not exist had I not been able to clarify my thoughts and get them down on paper.

So, in praise of the humble pencil, I would like to share this story with you. The idea is not mine but I have given it my own twist.

The Story of the Pencil

A little pencil was just about to be packed into a box by a wise old pencil maker. Sensing the little pencil's apprehension, the pencil maker gently held it in his hands.

"Don't be afraid, little pencil. I will share with you what I share with all my pencils before I send them out into the world," the pencil maker whispered to the pencil.

"The first thing you should know is that sometimes you might experience a sharpening. This might hurt you for a while. But afterwards, you will see that this experience sharpens you and helps you write better.

Secondly, by recognising when you need help from another, you can achieve great things together. In another's hands you will be free to write what is inside.

Thirdly, don't worry about making mistakes. Mistakes can be corrected and learned from.

You have a beautiful shiny wooden exterior, but your true beauty, the most beautiful part of you, is what is inside and gradually revealed to the world the more you write your story.

The last thing I would like to share with you is simply this. Leave your mark. Big or small. I am sending you into the world not to languish in this box but to create, share and tell stories. If you can remember all this, you will be the best pencil you can be."

With that, the pencil maker carefully placed the pencil in the box and closed the lid. The little pencil's journey was about to begin.

We are all here to leave our mark on the world. When the time comes for me to leave this planet, I will be able to do so with a lighter heart if I can tell myself that I left the world a better place for my having been a guest here. We are not meant to lie unused and unsharpened in our boxes. Let’s make our marks, create, love, share, draw our pictures and write our stories.

The next time you pick up a pencil, ask yourself what magic you can create with it. Who knows – it might be the beginning of another great idea!