The power of a picture

or milk, turtles and impressions

When I visit a scenic location or attend an event, I’m not one who always remembers the details. The name of a person or place may not immediately come to mind, but images certainly stick. I was reading a book last month, Less Clutter, Less Noise by Kem Meyer, and she had a wonderful example of the power of a picture.

milk ring turtleAs she was discussing the impact an image can have, Kem shared a photograph she had seen several years ago, a picture of a sea turtle that had been caught in a plastic ring from a milk jug as a hatchling. The little turtle had grown up with the plastic ring around its middle, and the adult turtle was malformed, shaped more like a large apple core. When Kem first saw this image, the point had been that we could do something simple to keep this from happening, simple as clipping the little plastic ring before discarding it.

The purpose behind sharing this image in the book was not necessarily environmental, but it was to make a point: a well-placed image can make quite an impression. In the same way, the way that we are can say so much more than any words. I know, for instance, that people see the care and love shown to me by my husband, as I face barriers brought on by disability, and we’ve had a number of people approach us with comments and questions – even for advice (?!). The milk-ring turtle speaks to us due to the way she appears, and I think we each speak to those around us in the same way.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words; sometimes, I think an image can speak volumes beyond this proverbial sum. As for our house, we have now formed a new habit: once we open a new carton of milk, the ring is clipped. Every time. And I hope this helps us remember that the impressions we give to others can be more valuable than we may realize.

3 Comments

  1. serenaduke said,

    June 30, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I’ve heard Kem speak! She works a Granger, a mega-church in Northern Indiana, and I was blessed to sit in on one of her workshops. But I’ve not read her book. I’ll have to check it out!

    • Angie said,

      July 1, 2009 at 9:22 pm

      Her coworker is a college friend of T.R.’s – We thought of you when we read the book – you’ll love it! 🙂

  2. Rachel E said,

    July 1, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Hey Angie!

    I enjoyed reading your blog. What a great picture….I didn’t even know what it was until you explained it. Thanks for your insights!


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