For those who aren’t familiar with Brown, in addition to being a long time California politician, he’s also a dapper dresser, known for being perfectly put together at all hours of the day and night, regardless of weather or circumstance, and always sporting a stylish headpiece.
One day, I suddenly found myself on Fillmore Street near Mrs. Dewson’s Hats, and with time to spare. (I’ve no recollection of how that happened, but it did!) I went into the store, and Mrs. Dewson herself was minding the shop. We chatted pleasantly as I browsed. The hats were lovely – really wonderful – and I was flat broke. As in, $2.00 left in the bank account until payday, which was more than a week away.
At the end of my browsing, I thanked Mrs. Dewson for the pleasure of enjoying her work. She asked if I were going to buy a hat. I explained that, although I loved them, I was not in a position to buy a hat at that time.
She replied something to the effect of “I get that all the time. Appreciation is great, but I can’t cash it. Buy a damn hat!”
I wasn’t able to that day, but I did eventually make it back to the shop to buy a hat, th0ugh it took a while. In the meantime, I had a great story to tell, and some of my friends also patronized Mrs. Dewson’s hats.
How many times does this happen to us? We want to support something, but we’re not able to for one reason or another. Or we simply choose not to.
Yes, it’s wonderful for an artist or entreprenuer to hear “I love your work” or “I appreciate what you’re doing”. I love hearing from people that they find our artists’ work intriguing, and that they appreciate our fair treatment of authors. That’s great – but our artists can’t eat appreciation. Can’t put it in the bank and use it pay rent or the utility bills, or buy art supplies.
Love an artist’s work? Like what a company is doing? Buy something and make it possible for them to keep doing it.
If you can’t afford something, then share your enthusiasm with others. Spread the word. If you can’t contribute directly to their prosperity, contribute to their fame and help create that prosperity. If you like it, support it with real action.
Buy a damn hat!