Updated: Sep 10, 2020
Have you ever wondered if you’ve made a difference in the world? I have been thinking hard about this lately. Has my time on earth has been meaningful? And have I reached people with my art and with my actions?
My Favorite Episode
My favorite episode of Doctor Who is Vincent and The Doctor. It deals with just this question. It is season five, episode number ten. This episode also features my favorite Doctor, Matt Smith.
In this episode, Amy and the Doctor meet Vincent Van Gogh. They go back in time to investigate a creature they see in one of his paintings in an art gallery. This portrayal of one of my favorite artists is true to his actual life, and moving beyond words.
Vincent Van Gogh
Most people know that Van Gogh was tormented by depression. This episode portrays that well, suggesting that he might have been bipolar.
Vincent was considered a joke and a failure as an artist in his own lifetime. Yet his description of the way he sees colors in this episode is incredibly beautiful. He literally paints the way that he sees!
Amy and the Doctor are fans of Vincent’s art, but quickly become his friends. They encourage him to keep painting, despite public opinion and despite his battle with depression.
An Act of Kindness
The Doctor, in an act of kindness, takes Vincent to his future to see his work in a museum. Imagine being able to actually SEE the future impact of your artwork when you consider yourself a failure! What an incredible gift that the Doctor gave him!
Amy and the Doctor made a difference in his life. Sometimes all we can do is add to a person’s “pile of good things” when we can’t change the bad things in their life.
Amy is certain that after seeing his future, Vincent would live on to create many more works of art. But the Doctor cautions Amy that some events in time are fixed. She is still certain that they will find many more paintings when they return to the present.
Amy is heartbroken to discover that Vincent still died at the same point in history, by his own hand.
But Amy and the Doctor did make a difference in Vincent’s life. They gave a lonely tormented man friendship and were with him in his pain. Oh, that is so important to someone with depression!
Amy impacted Vincent so much that he did indeed paint one more painting…for her.
We Can Make a Difference
Are we making a difference? We may not always know in the moment. But let us always be mindful that what we do matters. We have the power to encourage or discourage. As artists, we have the power to inspire with our art and creativity!
The smallest words and actions can have a huge impact on another person’s life. We may not be able to change a person’s circumstances, but we can add to their “pile of good things”.
We have the awesome ability to show other people know that they matter! That is perhaps the greatest gift that any of us can give to another person.