Monthly Archives of: December 2009

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NEIN TIMES

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Recently–and startlingly–Swiss citizens voted to ban the construction of minarets, the distinctive, tall spires that define the architecture of mosques. As with many political issues, a widely-distributed poster supporting the ban came to define the anti-Minaret referendum. Following the vote, however, posters voicing opposition to the referendum began appearing. This one, which reads: Equal Rights for All:  No to the Minaret Initiative, was thought by experts to be well-designed, but too sophisticated to resonate broadly.

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JOY & MEANING

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There’s great joy in giving, of course, but the frantic holiday season turns gift-giving into a futile search for originality and an odious exercise in beating the clock.  Still, giving meaningful gifts for reasons that matter are fundamental objectives worth revisiting.

Few things are more fundamental than water, and Charity Water’s objective of providing clean drinking water to those who lack it is about as worthy an endeavor as one can conjure up.  With a painfully poignant and powerfully effective marketing campaign, they, like many charitable organizations, make a strong case for eschewing extravagant trinkets in favor of quite literally changing the course of a life.

Or at the very least, making those trinkets count for something. Personally, I’d be happy with one of these wrist bands, which can provide clean drinking water for one person for 5 years.  As an aesthetic statement, it has fine graphic appeal; and as a symbol of how little it costs to re-inject meaning into the act of gift-giving, few reminders would be closer at hand.