It seems there are fewer family photos and memories being printed, framed and captured for us to look back on.
Social media and smart phones seem to give us the impression that we are capturing every moment we want to - but are we really?
Our loved ones matter. The life we build together matters. It matters enough to be able to remind ourselves and the world why.
Many years ago, when I was still working with Live Different, the charity I founded, I remember when the idea struck me to create a movie night out in the villages we worked in.
We would roll out at sundown with a truck full of patio chairs, massive bags full of popcorn, a big white sheet and a projector. Within minutes we had our own theatre under the stars and were sharing an experience with people who had never even set foot inside a cinema before.
We sat side by side on patio chairs and blankets, shared bags of popcorn and laughed big belly laughs at the antics of the cartoon characters we all loved. There was something so simple and profound about the opportunity to simply be people sharing in something we all loved: to connect and be entertained.
This past summer, while I was with a group of visitors out at the garbage dump we work at, one of the guys that works there told one of the people with me that he has known me for a long time.
So long, in fact, that he informed them of how many movies we have watched together ;)
In Brave Soles, the true mission of what we do is to inspire in such a way that we can all join in the story of how we can build a better future. To be able to simply do business and life with others so that we can all share in the benefits is a beautiful, if not rare, way to journey together.
That’s why, when my friend Franklin reached out to me just before the holidays with an idea, I was stoked to see what we could do with it.
The idea? It was simply to offer family photos to people who will value them. That’s it.
Here’s the thing about family photos: we all want them, but we never want to take the time to get them done. Instead, life just keeps rolling along and, before we know it, our ideas of family photos are long gone. We tell ourselves we are too busy, that they seem too expensive or we simply don’t even think of it.
However, for many people all over the world, family photos - much like family movie night - is simply not even an option. You may take a photo with a phone camera, but how will you ever be able to finally get it printed and framed? Where do you even take it when you share a paper-thin wall with a neighbour and your house is on land that you can never own because of immigration policies?
Here’s what you do: absolutely nothing. You go on with the consuming business of surviving and staying safe.
The people we work with at the garbage dumps and the people who supply our tires for our soles, are people whom I consider myself blessed to have in my world. They are doing life to the best of their abilities, just like you and me.
And this is why it’s so sweet to share these photos with you.
Franklin’s idea is simple, it’s reproducible and the payoff for each of us was the sheer pleasure of walking back into their homes and handing them the photos of themselves and their kids that they have dreamed of having.
Lately I have started a new habit to my morning routine. I have started to simply bless everyone in life and business. It’s a powerful way to start your day - or turn your day around. As I do it, I feel my creativity and insight begin to open up again and have a stronger sense of alignment and purpose that begins to settle on me for a new day.
Today, I blessed Franklin for giving me the chance to do something so simple and full of dignity with people that are part of the fabric of my family, my life and Brave Soles.
Here’s a few photos that we have permission to share. They represent stories of annoying little brothers, reluctant family portraits, fathers who are proud of their daughters, lovers who are building a life together and proud home owners.
They are proof that what matters to each of us, in some way matters to all of us.
The world we are building together is filled with people - and those people are all of us.