“You all know it as the Amazon Desert but years ago it was known as the Amazon Rainforest.” With tears rolling down my cheeks, I was captivated as I heard Prince EA speaking to the future about the “Amazon Desert.” A friend of mine told me to check out this video from Richard Williams, better known as Prince EA. According to his website, his work includes, “creative, inspirational and thought provoking content.” I can attest to this. As I sat watching “Dear Future Generations,” his words both saddened and inspired me; listening to him made me feel devastated and empowered. What Prince EA was saying is, the abundant rain forests of the world filled with indigenous tribes, medicine, animals and trees are fading right before our eyes. Unfortunately there are some decision makers in the corporate world who are choosing to deplete the resources on our planet for temporary personal gain. I realized in that moment until those people awaken to the destruction they impart on our planet, we must take a stand and not sit idly by. If we care at all about future generations of people and our planet, we must act now. That is why we, at Whitney Howard Designs, partnered with Prince EA to take a Stand for Trees. Stand for Trees makes an impact on the planet in a positive way by creating a carbon offset by planting trees in the rainforests of the world. In case you are unfamiliar with the term “carbon offset,” it basically means the compensation or “offset” for damage done elsewhere. For our children, and their children, and their children, it is imperative we act now to help offset this destruction, or risk leaving nothing more than an apology to future generations. As another Earth Day approaches, Prince EA’s words ring especially true. Are we making this planet a better place for future generations? At Whitney Howard Designs we have taken steps to ensure we are. You may have even noticed that every Whitney Howard Designs Acai Seeds of Life Bracelet has a little round tag attached that says, Stand for Trees to acknowledge our partnership. When I look down at the bracelets on my arm, I have hope in my heart as I think of future generations. As Prince EA says at the end of his video, “an error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” If we all do just a little to offset the damage being done, we will hopefully never need to say, “Dear Future Generations, I’m Sorry…”
I can recall it like it was yesterday. We are driving down Malibu Canyon crammed in the back of a pickup truck, my best friend, Melanie, her brother JJ, his surf buddies and me with not a care in the world… the only thing weighing on our minds, will there be good waves this morning?
The wind whipped our hair around and even though we were a bunch of kids squished in the back of a truck without seat belts (these were the days when you could actually do that) we were thrilled, especially as we began to smell the ocean air and taste freedom! Honestly, it was the best way to spend a Saturday and these memories bring me right back to a time when being young and carefree was all we knew.
JJ was not only my best friend’s brother, but in my mind a legend. He was an incredible surfer, skateboarder, great dancer, and a total babe. He was cool in every way. Truth be told, I had a secret crush.
Last summer JJ passed away. Some legends aren’t meant to live forever. I miss him every day. When someone passes away it is customary to send flowers or bring food to those who are grieving. When I created The Remember Rock I wanted to give something meaningful that could be treasured for years to come. The Remember Rock is a gift for the grieving. However, this is a process, which takes time and everyone does it at their own individual pace. I have yet to mail the Remember Rock to Melanie or her family, but when I do I know they will place it somewhere special and it will serve as a reminder of JJ.
At Whitney Howard Designs we create meaningful objects that connect people to their life experiences. Our products touch lives in a profound way and connect people to their journey. Sometimes the journey isn’t one of our choosing. Yet, it is sincerely our hope even in these moments we can connect you to those you love and the memories you hold, because we believe the person lives on in our memories, just like JJ will always be with me in my memories. He is part of my history, a part of my life and he always will be. I have my own Remember Rock as a reminder of JJ. I put in in a beautiful bowl that is filled with sand and some seashells, and it helps me recall those days of salty, sandy surfers.
JJ you will forever be a legend and you will live on in my heart.
**Recently, The Remember Rocks made their way to the 911 Memorial Museum in New York City; we are honored the rocks can help with healing from such a dark day in our history.
Nevertheless, she persisted. It’s almost a rallying cry today. Undoubtedly, when Senator Mitch McConnell uttered those words about Elizabeth Warren he did not know it would trigger a virtual storm of tweets, retweets and women adopting it as their own. In fact, it has become so popular that Chelsea Clinton wrote a new book She Persisted, which features 13 American women who have overcome adversity. In addition, it was decided today the Fearless Girl statue, which was erected the eve of International Women’s Day will remain for another year on Wall Street. In other words, she will persist to stare down the bull of Wall Street. In a quick google search, I found persist defined as, to continue firmly, or obstinately, to exist or carry on. What does nevertheless, she persisted mean to you? For me, it’s personal. That’s why we, at Whitney Howard Designs created the Quotable Cuff with these encouraging words.
Let me explain why it’s personal. I recently hosted a 50th birthday celebration for my dear friend and colleague, Stefanie. As I looked around the room at these women I recognized the strength and beauty in each, including the guest of honor. The guest of honor is a breast cancer survivor. Last year I watched her accept her diagnosis, receive treatment, all the while working and taking care of her family with a grace and strength that was nothing short of amazing. I would say despite the challenges placed in her path nevertheless, she persisted. Then I glanced to the side, saw another one of Stefanie’s friends, a woman who stood by her husband as he battled addiction and went through recovery. This woman held her family together fearlessly. She assisted her husband in healing, and life at home remained loving and stable for her children. Indeed this woman is the epitome of nevertheless, she persisted. I went to get another helping of salad and started up a conversation with Stefanie’s friend who teaches Theater at a nearby school. After her divorce, she moved across town to be closer to a school that better suited her daughter. This move geographically separated them from family, friends and support. It meant rebuilding their lives. She is raising a beautiful and strong daughter, showing her by example how to nevertheless, persist.
Look around at the women in your world. Do you have a woman or women, who come to mind when you hear, nevertheless, she persisted? Women are strong. Every day we are out there doing what some would say is impossible. Whether it’s breaking new barriers, accomplishing new tasks, raising families with odds stacked against us, or fighting illness, we are often the glue holding it together. Our Quotable Cuff is a reminder to all of us of the fortitude of women. Just like the Fearless Girl Statue who will now persist on Wall Street, we have persisted, we do persist, we will persist.
I was at my desk working, thinking about my new commitments to blogging and what my new topic would be. I realized I had not blogged for a while but every time I did, I was thrilled by the replies. When you, yes you reading this, take time out of your day to read what I have to share, well, it makes me happy, really truly happy. And it turns out today's blog post is about the word ‘happy.’
This blog topic came in a very organic way. Remember I opened with, " I was at my desk…." Stefanie, my coworker and one of my best friends, walked by (yes, life is good when you get to see a favorite friend week to week...Although Howard gets annoyed when we talk too much). Stefanie said, "Hey Whit, I have been wearing the 'Do one thing everyday that makes you happy' cuff and you know, Whit, it works. I have been doing one thing every day since wearing it and I like what is happening from wearing it.”
Wow, I was happy to hear this! That comment reminded me of something, so I shared:
I was at the market the other day, and I saw a jar of Creamy Coconut Peanut Butter and thought, "Oh yummy! This will make me happy".
I thought, “Oh, I do not need it, but...I think it will make me happy." So I bought it. And guess what? It did make me happy!
I do that often when I am at the market. I see jars of delicious gourmet sauces and jams and, whatever it is, I am tempted to buy what I call ‘a little jar of happy’.
Stefanie’s cuff bracelet ‘Do one thing everyday that makes you happy’, is a great motto by which to live. I walk by my jar of coconut peanut butter (that no one else in my home wants to try), open the lid and dip in my finger. Then I smile really big.
I asked Stefanie what some of the things were she has been doing when she looks down at her wrist and is reminded to ‘Do one thing everyday....' "I stop and think about my children. They make me happy," she said. I was quite touched by this comment.
Today I ask you,
What is it you do each day to make you happy? What is you do to recognize the need to "do one thing everyday that makes you happy"?
Please post and share…. You’ll be happy you did! We'll read your comments and it will make us happy that you shared. Thank you for taking the time to read, listen and post.