This is one of the most beautiful art projects I've seen in a while. I also find it especially powerful in that it focuses on what is right about a person rather than what is wrong. Whether it's core to their mission or smart positioning I think it is extremely wonderful to see corporations taking a stand to promote positivity. What does this inspire in you?
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About seven years ago I wrote an essay in which I explored the consequences of the American Protestant work ethic compared to different work styles in similarly developed countries overseas. I found a number of unsettling pieces of information as I carried out the research for this paper. Among them were the facts that the average U.S. employee spends more time commuting to work than rearing their children, more value is typically placed in a person's job title than their character, and that stress-related disorders and deaths are directly correlated with the number of hours we put in at work.
John De Graaf is one of the people who directly inspired my research into this topic. My outlook on work and the role it plays in our lives changed significantly upon reading Affluenza: The All Consuming Epidemic in my macroeconomics class. While I didn't know it at the time, as I started writing that essay, I was embarking on a journey to change my value system. Until then I was caught up in the acquisition of 'stuff.' Now, I realize stuff is just that—stuff. With the guidance of a few other leaders and mentors in my life (Notably Dr. Don Parks and Dr. María Lowe) I began making professional decisions that aligned with my values as much as they did my strengths.
Just under a year ago, by chance, I happened upon John De Graaf after a taping of an interview with Bainbridge Graduate Institute Founders Gifford and Libba Pinchot at KCTS Channel 9. This Saturday, I will have the opportunity to speak on the the role of messaging and media in the global discussion on happiness alongside De Graaf and several other esteemed researchers, practitioners, and academics at the Happiness 2012 conference held tomorrow and Saturday (August 24th and 25th) at Seattle University covering the topics of health, compassion, environment, emotional well-being, education, community, arts & culture, finances, time balance, government, and workplace satisfaction. I'm slotted for Saturday at 2:30 p.m. PST. If you find any of these topics interesting, there's still time to purchase your tickets. General admission is $55 and a discounted rate of $40 is offered to students and low-income individuals. Day passes can be had for $35 and $25 respectively. Today is the last day to purchase your tickets in advance on Brown Paper Tickets.
Do you remember a few weeks ago when I asked you to choose between the blue pill and the red pill? I sure do. First of all, thank you to all who participated in the blog post and a special thanks for those who left comments, called, or sent me a text or email to tell me what they thought. I had a lot of fun exploring the types of things that are possible in the blogging world. Although this was an attempt to have fun, I’m looking at ways to make much more serious attempts to bring people together, elicit real-time feedback, and build interaction into blogs and other new media bring about creative ways to uncover, discuss, and solve social issues.
If you chose the red pill, you were sent to this Google Doc drawing and tasked with creating a shared artifact in the form of an image. This is what you came up with. The drawing is still live, so if you feel compelled to add to it or otherwise modify the image, feel free to do so. I’m going to keep this up to see how it evolves over time.
If you were one who chose the blue pill, you were sent to a hidden page I created just for this blog. Unless you had the direct link, you wouldn’t have found it. (Google may have indexed the page by now, but before, you had to either click on the blue pill picture or copy/paste the link from it.) Now, I’m making it publicly available in the event you want to check it out: Blue Pill Link. After clicking that link, you were given audible instructions that sent you to yet another hidden page. Again, you kind of “had to be there” to know about it. That page had one last audible instruction, an unlisted YouTube video, and a picture of the blue pill that sent you back to the original post.
In case you don’t want to hop all around the web, here’s all the media in one place.