When we launched our Quote to Self project this past February, we were unsure where it would take us, who we would meet and if people would even participate. Asking the question “What advice would you give to your 15-year-old self?” turned into more than we expected. Check out a few highlights from our team:
- We met a man in Budapest who was reading on a bench by the Danube. When we asked him “The Question,” he thought about it, shook his head and said, “I can’t. That is too big of a question.” We were walking around a nearby park about an hour later when the same man came up to us and said excitedly, “OK, I have an answer now. I would tell myself not to be afraid. Fear is a lie. You can do whatever you want and be whatever you want to be.” We felt honored that he took the time to find us.
- On a very hot June afternoon, we came across a photographer from California who was visiting Minneapolis. He answered our question in an extremely positive manner: “It will work out, and in the end you’ll get to where you’re trying to go. Crawl before you walk, crawl before you walk.” We laughed with him and had a short conversation. Afterward, he took our photo and we parted ways.
- In Prague, on the Charles Bridge, we met a Scottish man who now lives and works in Prague. He said he rarely goes to the touristy parts of the city but felt the urge to visit that day. He, like most others we met, was skeptical upon our approach but quickly warmed up. We had a great five- to 10-minute conversation (much longer than most of our interactions), and at the end he said he was so glad he decided to follow his urge to be a tourist that day. His advice: “I trust my 15-year-old self to be the same as my now 50-year-old self. And I wouldn’t try to ask my 50-year-old self to give advice to me because I’m the same man as I was then and the same person. I don’t need to advise me and I couldn’t advise him.”
- We asked a mother at United Noodle (an Asian marketplace) with two kids under the age of 7 – one in her arms and another at her feet. At first she was flustered by the commotion and our request, but then she paused to think about it and looked at her kids. Her response was a mixture of reflecting on her life and thinking about her kids. It stayed with us because it was such a great dynamic of looking into the past and the future.
December 19, 2019 | Creative, Culture, Quote to Self Project, Research