Sunday, 14 January 2007

Martin Luther King’s impromptu dream…

Watching CNN one morning this week, I heard Soledad O’Brien talk about how Martin Luther King Jr. had not planned to talk about his dream the day he gave his “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

As the story goes, Mahalia Jackson called out, “Tell them about your dream, Martin! Tell them about the dream!” — From the U.S. Department of State web site

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had originally prepared a short and somewhat formal recitation of the sufferings of African Americans attempting to realize their freedom in a society chained by discrimination. He was about to sit down when gospel singer Mahalia Jackson called out, “Tell them about your dream, Martin! Tell them about the dream!” Encouraged by shouts from the audience, King drew upon some of his past talks, and the result became the landmark statement of civil rights in America — a dream of all people, of all races and colors and backgrounds, sharing in an America marked by freedom and democracy.

That something so amzing was impromtu — ad-libbed — amazing…

Saturday, 25 February 2006

Dear Elena

I read a lot of tech related blogs and am constantly struck by how they put the interpersonal back into communication.

One of my favorites is Kathy Sierra’s Creating Passionate Users blog. She’s got a knack for being devilishly subversive for the greater good in a way that always grabs my attention.

Yesterday Kathy posted about her friend and colleague Dan Steinberg who had to cancel a trip to Boulder this week to collaborate with her on a project because his daughter Elena had suddenly died.

What a stomach punch.

As I read Kathy’s post, there was something about her description of Dan as a devoted dad that went beyond cliché (and as a dad myself, struck a chord with me). It was one of those descriptions that will cause you to follow a link to the blog of someone you don’t know and thereby wander into special places.

What is it about us as humans that causes us to seek connection like that? What is it that makes us walk into places despite knowing much of how the sad stories will end?

So I followed a link to Dear Elena, the blog Dan started the day after is daughter died, and therein found a deep connection with someone I will likely never meet.

He’s posted several times in the last few days with vignette’s that will make you pull those around you close, look them in the eye, and tell them what beautiful people they are.

I especially like the note about Will the Trash Man. It’s one of those stories that makes me aspire to being more generous to the people I run into everyday — instead of keeping my nose burrowed in my ‘important’ tasks and agendas.

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Late in the day yesterday, Jen emailed me at work with an idea – “Let’s take Ruthie on a date to see Curious George when you get home from work”.

Reply >> “Yes, let’s do that.” >> Send