Rotary Online Makeup Program

Meeting Date: 15 February 2013

Prepared By: George Firican


Before I die I want to...

The title of this week's program might sounds a little bit morbid, but it is not meant to be that way. So how is it meant to be then? Well, it is really meant to give you a chance to reflect on your life. It is meant to make you think back at what you've been through, good and bad. It is meant to have you try and appreciate your past experiences as after all everything we've been through made us the persons we are today and today we are also part of this wonderful Rotary club so life must have had a positive effect on us if we turned out here trying to help others, right? It is also meant to make you think of the future and what you want to make of it.

Let me give you a little bit more background on this. Earlier this year I was in a poorer side of Vancouver, the town I live in, and I saw a huge chalkboard in one of the alleyways that was filled with spray painted "Before I die…" words and the rest was filled in chalk by locals.

I started to read it and I was surprised about how many people came by to fill it in and how different the answers were. Then again in all the different answers you could see common traits such as being loved, finding love, learning, acquiring simple pleasures, having different experiences, etc. Altogether to me they symbolized hope and it seemed that this wasn't a way of outlining the differences between people, but rather the communalities and at the same time it was also bringing people and communities together. This inevitably made me think about my life and what I want to do before I die…

Before I die...blackboard in Vancouver:

When I got home I did some research on this project and I found out it was initiated by an artist from New Orleans, named Candy Chang. Here's a quick video where she talks about it:
TED: Candy Chang: Before I die I want to...: 6:20 min

There is even a toolkit you can purchase in order to create this in your own community, though it is simple enough to create a setup without it. There are some free files you can download though to help you create the stencils.

Again, I thought this was a very neat idea as it seemed to bring communities together, give a new purpose to an otherwise avoidable place (like an alleyway or an abandoned building), offer a chance to see what's important to the people around you and make you reflect on your own life and hopes.

Therefore, this week's program is meant to be a little more interactive and so it is meant to have your participation. I would like you all reading this to think how you would fill in the blank at the end of "Before I die I want to…" and even share that with the rest of us if you wish.

Thank you,

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