Words have a power to move. Which direction that movement takes is important to consider. Too often, especially as is seen at the moment, people are polarised by the words of others. Is this reasonable, and is this right?
Jacqueline Novogratz, the powerful force behind the founding of the New York based organisation Acumen, made this comment during the week and I thought it was important to share: “Within all of the division we feel around us, what can we each do for someone else today? What conversation can we have with someone who is different? Inspired by Shaw…”
She went on to share a quote from the playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950). I have had this quote in my mind for a few years, and it is appropriate at the moment having just arrived in Hiroshima.
Tomorrow, I’ll write more about its relevance, but for now I think you can glean the meaning without the need for any further explanation:
This is the true joy in life, being recognized by yourself as a mighty one, being a force of nature instead of a feverish clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me; it is a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got to hold up for a moment. I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
Your thoughts? I love to hear your comments if you would share them below!
Cameron Sinclair, co-founder of Architecture for Humanity and an accomplished designer from New York, in 2008 demanded of designers at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York to “design like you give a damn!” He argued:
Forget these chandeliers and overpriced sofas; forget the whole New York design scene. Look to Africa and India, to the places where design is a matter of life or death.
During the 10 City Bridge Run, we are asking you to ‘connect like you give a damn!’
No one can effectively ‘do bridging’ on their own. Our networks are possibility factories, but only if we choose to use them.