Giving the gift and receiving the gift…

Sending the right message? - Photo Credit user: Be Extreme
Sending the right message? – Photo Credit user: Be Extreme

If you’re handing out t-shirts that you’ve designed, then you’ll likely realize there’s different ways that people will respond to your gift, mostly depending on what’s printed on the t-shirt.

Some people will wear it straight away, because they love you and value your opinion and work. It may fit perfectly and they’ll love it… As long as nothing changes (ie. their experience of life while wearing the shirt!!).

Another kind of person will wear it, but not feel comfortable in it. They might be wearing it because they respect or support you.

Still another person will smile, take the shirt and put it in a back closet at home while they think about if and when they should wear it…

If you’ve done your best to inspire and make people feel good about your shirts, then chances are that they’ll follow one of the above paths, and hopefully give you respectful and constructive feedback on how you can make it better.

But I think we always need to be prepared for the fact that some people will refuse the shirt. A Buddhist teaching I heard recently highlighted the fact that they might refuse it because they don’t like it, it doesn’t fit, or it offends them or clashes with their identity. They could even do this with respect, compassion and empathy.

If someone refuses the shirt, then we sometimes forget that it’s our responsibility to figure out what to do with it next. Not theirs.

If the shirt says “bitch” or “I’m with stupid”, then you’re chances of eventually being left with a pile of t-shirts that no-one wants goes WAY up.

And even someone without enough clothes on their back could refuse that kind of shirt. So stop complaining if no-one want’s your shirts. You may as well print something that feels good for other people to wear. Especially if it’s free!