the human element

really quickly and ineloquently, before the inspiration leaves me

just had a marketing meeting with philanthro marketing girls. What an awesome group. talked about what we hope to accomplish in the upcoming 6 months, personal projects and such. My personal project is about branding philanthro, using some guerilla marketing tactics to make the brand represent the awesome and inspiring people that are behind it.

my personal baby though, is a project centered around the human element, the human story. It started with a pea of an idea, that strangers, kids of family friends, hear more personal stories about my parents than I ever do. What a shame, I thought, that I know so little about my parents as people, as people with their own unique stories, that have absolutely nothing to do with childbearing. The pea of a thought settled into a corner of my heart, and it wasn’t until Wes showed me Philip Toledo’s Days With My Father, that the idea really cemented into something that I wanted a physical manifestation of.

Who are these people that we have known our whole lives? Our parents, our relatives, teachers and mentors? They have had arguably the greatest influence on shaping our lives – indeed. we may never know the full extent of that influence. But what do we know about them, as human beings, as people who were once young, with their own dreams and aspirations and obstacles, with faults and geniuses that we never hear about because of their humility?

And what does this have to do with philanthropy? This isn’t giving back in the usual sense. But this, to me, builds community. And not a community of like-minded individuals who work together bi-weekly to contribute to the same cause, but community in the sense that it makes us all feel a little more human, a little more connected. It’s so much easier when we know someone’s personal history, personal story, to not write them off as shallow, vain, dishonest, bad.

At the risk of sounding cliche, it seems like a good step toward world peace, by making everyone feel a little more connected.


One thought on “the human element

  1. Jaemin says:

    Dude, this post is amazing. Your thoughts on how little we know of the closest people in our lives really hits home for me.

    I remember back in the Bay before I left for NY, I had a lunch with just my Dad. I knew he didn’t get married until he was in his 40’s but this was the first time I asked him what he was doing with his life up until then.

    It was so awesome. He told me about how he was always travelling. Taking on new hobbies (like photography). Getting into adventures and always trying new things. Always keeping a positive outlook on life I didn’t realize it until then, but I think I might take after my Dad way more then I thought.

    But the craziest part was when he told me about his ex-girlfriends. I never even THOUGHT that my Dad might’ve had a girlfriend before my mom. And that’s when I realized how little I knew of my parents. That I didn’t even really see them as “people”, if you know what I mean.

    That really shook me up. And scared me a little bit. I worry that I won’t ever really get to know who my parents were. They’re just not that open about their pasts.

    But I will make DAMN sure my kids know about my past. They’re gonna grow up SO sick of hearing my endless stories. I’ll make sure of that haha

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