Common Ground

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In the shadow of The Louvre there stands an art shop that has been in business for over 100 years. This shop has been frequented by some of the most famous artists of the last century. Now in its fourth generation of ownership, this quaint little shop is run by a gentleman who is…what? An artist? No. A chemist. Not only does he sell the paints, but he creates them. His daughter will someday inherit the store, but her profession seems a bit more in line with the family lineage. She is (surprise, surprise) a painter.

This was a featured human interest story on NPR this morning. Yet, what struck me more than the rich history of the shop was the relationship between father and daughter. A chemist and an artist don’t seem to have much in common on the surface and maybe they don’t, in general, either. Still, this father/daughter duo finds a common love in the colors and materials that have helped to create some of the most well-known art in the world.

If you think about the relationships in your life, chances are, you’re friends with someone who has virtually nothing in common with you. I know I not only have friends like this, but some relatives, too. So, what do you do? You find that simple thread between two people, some piece of common ground. Paint, literature, American Idol (though I wouldn’t suggest this one)…find something you share with another and help the relationship thrive from that common love.

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