DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI, the famous 19th century poet and artist,
was once approached by an elderly man.
The old fellow had some sketches and drawings that he wanted
the great artist to look at.
The old man wanted Rossetti to review the sketches
and tell him if they were any good,
or if they at least show some potential talent.
Rossetti was a kind man.
He looked over the sketches very carefully.
After looking at the first few, the artist knew t
hat these sketches were worthless.
But because Rossetti was a kind man, he told the elderly man
as gently as possible that the pictures were without much value
and showed little talent or promise.
He was sorry to tell the truth but he could not tell a lie to the man.
The man was disappointed but was not heart-broken,
but he seemed to expect this kind of judgment.
The old man then apologized to the artist again
for taking up his valuable time,
but asked him to look at a few more drawings.
Rossetti graciously looked over the second batch of sketches.
The great artist immediately became enthusiastic
over the talent this second batch of sketches revealed.
“These”, he said, “ oh, these sketches are very good.
They show a lot of promise.”
“The young student has a great talent.
He should be given every possible help
He has a great future.
He could become a great artist some day.”
Rossetti could see that the old fellow was deeply moved.
“ Who is this fine artist,” he asked the old man. “Your son?”
“No”, said the old man sadly.
“It is me – 40 years ago.
If only I had heard your praise then!
For you see, I got discouraged and gave up too soon.”
- Author Unknown.