Sometimes, you can find free life lessons on the road. Literally.
At the Eastern end of Ashley Avenue, on the island of Folly Beach (South Carolina), a quarter mile of road leading to the beach has been blocked off to vehicular traffic. Every available square inch of asphalt had been written on, doodled on, or spray painted.
Sometimes, the advice was trite, though good natured and well intentioned:
EAT YOUR VEGGIES
LOVE YOURSELF NOW
FEED YOUR MIND
In other places, images predominated, no words needed….
One of the messages, “You are loved, never give up” had an 800-number added.
I looked for that 800-number online and had no idea what I’d find: Logic, an American rapper, performed his song “1-800-273-8255” at the Grammys. The title is actually the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Calls to the hotline spiked after the release of his song which features a young man who is suicidal as he struggles with his sexuality. In the end, the song encourages people to stay alive, reminding them that they have something special to bring to the world. This Youtube video gathered 432 MILLION views in the past 4 years! In almost 400,000 comments, many people talk about their own experiences of despair and how this song helped them stay alive.
I learned all of this by following up on a note scribbled on a road! It was very moving.
After my research, I felt particularly drawn to the following message – it sounded reassuring and sincere:
I wondered what advice I would have added to Graffiti Alley – IF I had chalk (or, less likely, spray paint) on me and IF I could have found an empty piece of asphalt to write on. And this is what I finally settled on:
The best revenge: Live joyfully
What advice would YOU add?