This morning listening to Charles Osgood on television, I was mesmerized by his segment about a young man by the name of Jeff Hanson.
In case you haven’t heard of him Jeff is “…a philanthropic artist from Overland Park, Kansas. He is visually impaired from an optic nerve tumor (he nick-named CLOD) associated with a genetic condition called neurofibromatosis. The tumor caused severe vision loss in 2005, requiring chemotherapy and radiation. Despite his low vision, Jeff sees well enough to continue creating brilliant artwork.”
What really enticed me to watch this piece was its title: Inner Vision. Jeff has that inner ability to see life in its spectacular form painting bold, colorful masterpieces that sell sometimes at a very high price. But Jeff isn’t in this for the money. He is in it to make change happen—one painting at a time!
Jeff could have had his tumor, chemotherapy and radiation therapy cloud his vision on life. But he didn’t let that happen.
Instead, his inner vision created an awareness that “it’s not about you…it’s about others.” For Jeff sees with his heart and gives abundantly to charities. He is a true testament to Helen Keller’s philosophy that “the welfare of each is bound up in the welfare of all.”
Jeff has learned lessons from which we can all benefit: “Live life with a purpose. Don’t let your CLOD define you. Generosity begets generosity. Be passionate in everything you do.” And he is. Donating more than ONE MILLION DOLLARS in acrylic canvases to over 100 charities worldwide since 2006, Jeff amazingly raised this amount by the age of 20!
His mission of compassion as an artist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist makes me wonder about my own inner vision. I have my eyesight yet sometimes don’t act on my inner vision. I am often blinded by adversities instead of choosing to use hardships as opportunities. This story was truly an “eye-opener.”
I hope that you too will consider listening to your heart and seeing with your inner vision.