Until the moment I participated in a Dear World photo shoot, I had never heard of them, but predict that their presence and impact will be increasing rapidly. Dear World is a national effort to capture the photographs and stories of people around the world. What makes them distinctive is that people tell a story through a message written on their skin.
I admit I was a bit skeptical at first, but found surprising power in the exercise of reflecting on what story I would share. We were asked to consider a message that only I could tell vs. something generic: what was heartfelt and meaningful to me?
I was at a convention where the past chair of the board was one of my former students (also pictured) and I was surrounded by young professionals. I chose: Love Young Grasshoppers -- a name of affection given to proteges as they are in their impatient stages of development. I do love young grasshoppers -- with all the enthusiasm, energy and wide-eyed optimism they bring as they find their footing as professionals -- and wanted to share the message that everyone should Love Young Grasshoppers as a way to help create a brighter future. I believe that time dedicated to this group now pays huge dividends in the future.
Whether or not you are fortunate enough to have your message captured by Dear World, think of what you would want to say. What is the story that only you can tell? What is your message to the world that helps others know what you value? Even if you can't share it on your skin for a moment, hopefully you can display it through your actions for a lifetime.