None of us are the finished article

James Woodworth

I watched a thrilling adaptation of The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens on TV recently. I was fascinated by the fact that the original book was left unfinished following the death of the author and it made me think about all the other unfinished works of art that I have seen over the years that I have admired including, amongst others the sculptures of the Dying Slaves by Michelangelo which are amongst my favorite works of art. I think the reason why unfinished works of art are so appealing is because we find ourselves completing the artwork in our imagination. This intensifies our engagement with the art work making the experience so much more meaningful for us. The unfinished work of art is also a powerful metaphor for the process of personal growth, personal development and learning. None of us are ‘the finished article’. Learning, growing, developing, self-actualisation, the achievement of one’s potential – these are all part a very long, purposeful, wonderful journey through life, a journey we should all remember to cherish and enjoy.


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