Happy Birthday Salvador Dali

220px-Salvador_Dalí_1939Salvador Dali is widely considered to have been insane, ridiculous, self-absorbed. He wasn’t.

A more accurate description would be that he was brilliant, unique, and fearless. Fearless in life, fearless in art, fearless in his self-expression.

What Dali knew that so many of us don’t is that one’s ideas and interests are valid, as well as valuable. When he had an impulse to explore a new interest, dress in a certain way, or to say what was on his mind, he didn’t stifle himself.

The-Persistence-of-MemoryBecause so many of his interests and ideas were quite unusual, it would have been understandable if Dali had shut himself down and refused to express his heart publicly. But he didn’t. He was authentic and confident, and in being so, he served humanity and influenced millions of people.

Surely Dali had thoughts “I’m being too weird…They’re going to laugh at me…I’ll be humiliated…I should just knock it off…I wish I were more normal.” But his conviction and desire to live a truthful life allowed him to ignore those thoughts and continue on his joyful path.

Many people consider the kind of behavior Dali displayed to be self-indulgent and attention-seeking. The same things are said today–about Madonna, Lady Gaga, the artistic child growing up in Anytown, USA. This kind of negativity could continue on forever, but we don’t need to worry about it because true confidence remains unshaken in the presence of even the worst criticism. And Salvador Dali’s life served as an example for every human being. His life tells us: Be yourself. Don’t hide. You are valid. Your happiness is important and it serves others.

That’s a legacy worth preserving. And celebrating. Happy birthday, Dali.

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