I spotted it while waiting for my family to finish their weekly shopping outside of a local department store, scrawled into the pavement next to a garbage can with what appeared to be pink sidewalk chalk. With nothing else to occupy my time, I bent down to see what had been written.
There’s lots more, it said. Look! A small picture of a flower had been drawn beside it.
I looked up and back into the crowd of people both going in and coming out. I hated shopping, and especially so at that particular shopping center. As a boy, it was once a field full of trees and tall grass and deer. Now, it was a paved city in and of itself, with a different sort of wild animals walking upon. The march of progress often takes its toll on beauty and leaves in its wake an ugliness that is glossed over with words like “convenience” and “revenue.”
I waved to a friend coming into the store. Said hello to another leaving. A third who seemed confused as to which way he was going began a conversation. That’s when my eyes wandered to the spot where his right foot was planted onto the sidewalk.
Another picture. This one of a dog’s face. Written below it—There’s lots more. Look!
We said our goodbyes and I reached for my cell phone to check on the progress of my wife and children inside. I was informed that I had plenty of time to look around. I said I was going to do just that.
I looked back to the garbage can, then to the spot where my friend stood. The result was a straight line approximately ten feet long. I walked a little farther, studying the ground.
Another! This one a tree whose roots said, There’s lots more. Look!
I paced off ten more steps and saw nothing. Then, next to a storm drain, I saw the outline of a puffy pink cloud.
There’s lots more. Look!
I did. Past the Michaels store and Bed Bath & Beyond. Past the hair salon the Hallmark, all the way to the end of the Books-a-Million.
There were pink birds, pink suns, and pink balloons. Pink people with gigantic smiley faces and pink snowmen. There were even pink angels.
They ended just as suddenly as they had begun, at the door of the bookstore. It was a pink book. Written in the pages was There’s lots more. Look!
I did. I didn’t find anything.
But I did turn around and look at how far I walked. A hundred yards, at least. One hundred yards spent not staring at the bad, but looking for the good. And I thought that maybe, just maybe, that was all that mattered.
We’ve heard a lot about change in the past couple of years, about how much we need it and how necessary it is. I can agree with that. But I don’t think we can do much about a lot of things in this world. I think we can do a lot of things about us, though. Maybe that’s how real change happens. Maybe we change the world not by changing governments, but by changing ourselves.
And we can start by not wallowing in the ugly, but looking for the beautiful.
Because there’s lots more. We just have to look.