A great idea + creative masses = amazing results

Dear Photograph, Our wedding was the sweetest day, just like Grandma's chocolate." - Onno

Think of all the great creative minds and the world’s best ideas, and you might come away thinking that creative genius is found by an individual toiling away alone. I think this can happen occasionally, but not often. Beyond that, the ideas may be great, but they could have been improved by having other input. It seems apparent that one person can only take an idea so far until it reaches is maximum potential. At that point, better results can be found by bringing in other creative types to add their own contributions. It’s in this secondary stage that truly beautiful and profound things begin to happen.

Here’s an example: Dear Photograph. The idea is imaginative yet simple: take a new photo of an old photo and write a caption that captures your thoughts about the moment. It’s a nice idea. But when this idea gets unleashed to the creative masses, amazing things begin happening.

There’s a photograph a cancer survivor Eric Richter and his daughter with the caption “Her love was my chemo.” There’s the photograph of a man looking down at the photo of he and his wife on a bench: “Thank you for everything we had.” Or the photo of of a father and two kids standing in a hardscrabble yard: “We had nothing, but you gave me everything.” Or two kids sitting together on a Lazy Boy chair: “Dear Photograph, I wish I treated you better when we were in high school.”

The site is only about a month old and displays less that 50 photos. They are poignant, heartfelt, and beautiful in their ability to uniquely capture two distinct moments at once. You can be sure that this will be a hit. It’s nearly impossible to ignore, and in just a few minutes, you’ll have ideas of your own to share. And I hope you do; I can’t wait to see them.

Go visit Dear Photograph right now. Let me know what you think.

"Happiness is not a function of what we have…"

While reading an article in the Saturday Evening Post written by Russell Wild, I came across the following:

“Happiness is not a function of what we have, but rather a function of what we appreciate. Studies show that people who regularly express and experience genuine gratitude for what they have – family, a meal, work, health – are happier, healthier, and more successful in the long run,” says Dr. Ben-Shahar. He suggests that you might want to keep a journal in which you take daily written notes of all that you are most grateful for.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m likely related to the author somewhere on my Mom’s side of the family, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s right on target including this quote from Ben-Shahar.

Have you taken time today to express your own genuine gratitude for the blessings in your life?

Neighbors Still

I stand at the open door,
one child – exhausted – with her head on my shoulder
another burning energy and adrenaline
by endlessly circling my legs
like a kite whose string has been cut.

It’s late.
We’ve stayed too long, had too much fun,
and we all know we’ll pay for it in some measure in the morning,
but this is the very definition
of the long goodbye.

These are not “wave from the door friends”
they are “walk you all the way ‘til the sidewalk ends” friends,
and so we stand at the car, only slightly awkward,
offering hugs and thanks and promises to do this more often.

And we pause before leaving
grasping at the tenuous bonds of friendship
knowing our attention will only become more diverted over time
and these times together will certainly become more rare.

Yet they are precise, nearly priceless moments of perfection
where we strike a careful balance
between reminiscing about the past
and marveling at the future.

So even though six large men and a moving truck
have scrambled our zip codes,
we linger and we promise and we hope
because we are – after all – friends, family, and neighbors still.