As I join with you in this time of Truth and Trust, I invite our Oneness to shine upon those who are called the “essential workers” … those who are keeping our needs met while we quarantine at home with our kids and movies and loved ones.
I am passionately behind this project called “Honoring The Essential Workers,” and you can read the whole story below. I am honored to be friends with the author, artist, and sculptor, Spar Street, who conceived and implemented this project. I highly recommend you acquaint yourself with his work!
I made the first donation to this cause in order to put my sincere effort behind this launch to the general public! Please join me if your heart says YES!
May we join together in the great Heart of Peace.
Honoring the Essential
A Movement to Acknowledge Those Who are Sustaining Our Lives
Who could refrain that had a heart to love and in that heart courage to make love known? ~ William Shakespeare
After 9/11, people raised flags in their yards, flew them from their cars, and wore hats, buttons, and t-shirts to make their love known. Sculptures, monuments, and awards were made to honor those who died and those who served. 9/11 was a horrific situation. People let go of everything but their love for a while. It was moving and powerful, beautiful and inspiring!
I want to bring that level of power, beauty and inspiration to into the world now. I want to make flags, hats, t-shirts, pins, buttons, and sculptures to make our love known to the essential workers at this time when thousands of people dying every day from COVID-19. I want to launch a website where people can post their thoughts about the courageous people in their lives that are still serving, or those who did serve and died from the virus. I want to honor and acknowledge the fact that essential workers are still finding the courage to show up for work, thereby sustaining our lives. And I want to you, if you feel inspired to do so, to join me and make this happen.
The inspiration, passion, and compassion to take action began in early April while standing in a checkout line. Through the eerie coldness of people standing silently, all wearing masks and maintaining social distance from each other, came the dry, sarcastic humor of the clerk joking with the customer in front of me. He said “I am an essential worker. I am immune to the virus.”
At one level, I appreciated that he was making light of a heavy situation… and at a deeper level, I recognized that I, as an individual, and we, as a collective, are not really acknowledging the “essential workers” for the service they are providing and the tremendous risks they are taking to provide those services. From my perspective, this is a profound demonstration of the care they have for us. Without these essential services our lives could not be sustained for long. They are risking their lives to sustain ours.
Two nights later, I was buying dog food and I told the woman serving me the story about the check-out person joking about being “essential” and therefor “immune to the virus.” I told her I can’t stop thinking about how this cashier used to get up and go to his relatively safe job, collect his paycheck at the end of the week, and take care of his family with what he brought home. Now he was going to work with no guarantee of safety, no guarantee that he would not catch this virus, get sick, or even die, and no guarantee he would not pass on the same fate to those he loves.
She looked cautiously into my eyes as if to decide if I could truly see what she was going through. I told her that I honored her for her courage, the courage to know the risks of going to work, both for her and those she loves, and going to work anyway. Tears started welling up in her eyes and she said, “Nobody is talking about what it takes to come to work under these conditions! I don’t think anyone wants to acknowledge that we are risking everything!”
Her eyes showed me the intensity of all that she was feeling. I replied, “You are being so brave. I see you.” When I saw that she had let that in, I said, “The truth is that you have, at some level, looked fear in the eye, and chosen to be of service to something more valuable than fear… You have chosen to care. You have chosen to love. I honor you for that.”
How many other essential workers feel unacknowledged and unseen for the all-encompassing commitment they are making? These people are risking everything so we all can live! The question haunted me for days. How can we say “Thank you” for their courage, their bravery, and their extraordinary commitment in a way that truly honors what they are exposing themselves to and the ways in which they are risking everything they love in order to serve us?”
Many of the workers at the hospital here on Maui now have COVID 19. The same is true in cities around the world. Workers from grocery stores and the post office have died. They are risking their lives and the lives of those they love by their continued commitment to serve. I consider this level of commitment heroic. I believe they are part of the making of history right now. They are being brave in the face of unthinkable risks to make a stand for something bigger than fear. I think it is important that we honor and acknowledge them for their courage in a truly meaningful, heartfelt way.
I believe showing our support with flags, t-shirts, buttons, hats, cards, and sculpture could touch their souls and renew their spirit. They would feel our support, especially in the times it feels too tough, too impossible, too meaningless to go on. I believe we are in this together, and that there will be a time when our essential workers will need to feel our caring behind the noble commitment they have made. I believe that how we work together now will determine what is born out of this challenging time. I believe that how we connect with, acknowledge, and honor the brave human beings around us right now will determine not only how we go through this, but what comes out of it.
How much more energy would they have if everywhere they went, they saw a symbol that told them “I see you. I honor you. I thank you. You are essential”? I would love to see them seeing that! Would it light you up to be part of that? They so much more than just “essential workers.” They are the heroic embodiment of love, caring, and courage. They are the embodiment of everything that is good, true, and beautiful about being human beings. And I believe there is great value both for them and for us to stand up and give a powerful voice to seeing these people for who they have chosen to be in the face of great danger.
I have designed a symbol that we can wear as a statement of honor and appreciation. It can be worn as a pin, a shirt, a hat, or a mask, or flown as a flag on your lawn or your car. The symbol we have chosen is a heart within heart, to reflect the open-hearted nature of these courageous people serving us right now. I also envision an award made as a small sculpture that we could give to anyone we wanted to personally acknowledge a friend, family member, or employee for their courage and commitment at this time. With enough funding, larger sculptures could be put up in cities to honor those who found the courage to take the risk of going to work to sustain our lives in the face of unthinkable odds. The cumulation of all of this would show that we see and appreciate the value and worth of these courageous and committed people.
Amir Dossal, Co-Founder and President of Global Partnerships Forum, has agreed to partner with me in forwarding this movement by making his 501 (c) 3 charity status available for donations to this cause. Mr. Dossal served as Executive Director for the UN Office for Partnerships and has received many prestigious awards for his contributions to the well-being of humanity over the last 35 years.
Should you want to donate through his charitable status organization, please find details of how to donate below and receive a tax receipt for your contribution.
In addition, if you would like to own one of my artworks right now, all of the proceeds from that exchange will go towards moving this forward.
Thank you for reading this and considering it. I sincerely appreciate it.
Global Partnerships Forum Inc. is a 501(c)(3) – a registered public charity. EIN: 45-4359619
Global Partnerships Forum Inc.
JP Morgan Chase Bank NA.
1 United Nations Plaza, Floor 01
New York, NY 10017. Tel: +1 (212) 740-7093
Account Number: 000000479274933
ABA Number: 021 000 021
SWIFT Code: CHASUS33
More about Spar:
Over the course of his esteemed career, Spar Street has created artworks for people who want the art they collect to empower the feeling of being deeply connected to the people and ideas they care about most. The emotional and spiritual qualities of his work have uplifted and inspired many of the world’s most influential and admired leaders on a daily basis for more than 35 years.
Spar’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally in galleries and cultural centers, including Art Miami, Miami Beach, Florida; Art Miami Context in Miami Beach, Florida; Hay Hill Gallery in London; Alp Galleries in Frankfurt, Germany; SCOPE in Basel, Switzerland; Gallery 1949 in Aspen, Colorado; the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego; the Hansen Galleries in New York City; Gallery Rodeo in Beverly Hills, California; the Pam Driscoll Gallery in Aspen, Colorado; Gallery Duval in Key West, Florida: GRAMMY Art of Music Gallery in Las Vegas; Plaza Galleries, Whistler, B. C., Canada; Artesia Gallery in Vail, Colorado; Richard Thomas Galleries in Park City, Utah and San Francisco; J. R. Fine Arts in Scottsdale, Arizona; International Art in Miami; FACT Gallery in Laguna Beach, California; the Masterpiece Gallery in Boca Raton, Florida; the Rendez-Vous Art Gallery in Vancouver, B. C., Art Link in Sydney, Australia; and Art Gallery Masajiro in Tokyo.
In addition, his work is in private, corporate, and public collections including those of Sir Richard Branson, Ted Turner, Andre Agassi, Richard Gere, The United Nations, The Virgin Group, Bank of Hawaii, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Neiman Marcus Group, HSBC, The Seagram Company, Pan Pacific Hotels, Nike Corporation, Federal Express., the B. C. Children’s Hospital, Columbia Academy, Lions Gate Hospital, Shaughnessy Hospital, Simon Fraser University.
For many years Spar Street’s sculpture, The Agent of Change, has been given as an award at UN events to honor presidents, prime ministers and dignitaries who are changing the world for the better.
Spar had personal experience with a virus that put him in the hospital for 4 days with a temperature of 105 degrees. Thanks to the essential worker that helped him survive, he still lives and works on Maui.