Three Magic Words

Writer: Masahito Ono

Sometimes, I feel a sudden urge to write. I'm not kind of a person who keeps diary or like writing, but occasionally, I need to write things down and tonight is that kind of night.

[Disclaimer]: as one artist, I think I understand that whatever we express in our work (whether in visual or in writing) is addressed to someone other than ourselves. If not, it's for our own pleasure and I don't think that's what we should be doing. So I write this short article, thinking about you and all the other readers.

Today, I came home from my summer studio near Union Square in New York, after working hours on my new installation. To tell you a little about this new piece, I am trying to create a photograph without a photograph. Sounds crazy? I am now sitting in my balcony under a handful of stars. It is an ordinary summer night, but such a beautiful night with perfect breeze and music that I'm listening to.

I remember I writing previously about the 3 magic words: "Thank you", "I'm sorry" and "I love you". This is why I think those are the 3 magic words. No one ever told me that those are the magic words. It is what I figured through living a little over 30 years, and meeting and working with hundreds of people. (I have met a lot of people as a nature of my previous work in journalism.)

- Say, " thank you", whenever and always, when you feel appreciation to something or for someone. No one would hate to hear you say the word, as long as your feeling is sincere. So, be sincere.

- Say, "I'm sorry", whenever and always, when you feel or notice that you hurt someone or did something wrong. Sometimes people just can't say "sorry" to you including myself. But if the relationship with the person is important, there is always a desire in both hearts to fix it. So, fix it.

- Say, "I love you", whenever and always, when you feel love for someone or for something. I don't believe in people saying using too much of this devalues the word. But the same as thank you, you need to be sincere. So don't lie. Love could be a painful thing but it is a beautiful thing. And I think it's important that we express it when we can express it. We often live our lives thinking that there is going to be tomorrow. But I've seen a few, maybe quite a few cases that tomorrow didn't come.

You read until this point and maybe some of the readers are thinking that I'm a simple minded person. But listen. You don't need to be a good person, a nice person or an honest person to be financially successful, but I strongly believe that you need to be a sincere person to be happy.

I must add, I didn't say those 3 magic words are the key to your success. There are other ways to be successful. Those are what "helps" you when you feel down and left out from the world. When I was 25 or 26. It was around the time of recession, I witnessed in the company that I used to work at, over 50 people lost their jobs in just one morning. I also left the company shortly after. I looked at where people went and what people had to go through, in some case for years. And I noticed that those who got much help and support from people were the ones who knew how to use the magic words sincerely.

Good evening and good morning.

Photo: I saw a moonrise as I finished writing this text, so I decided to take a photo of it.

Masahito Ono